Terible Experience

Carnival Magic Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western

Cruises: 1 cruise (first)
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 15

Overall rating:

2.9 out of 5
Carnival Magic

7 Night Western Caribbean (Port Canaveral Roundtrip)

Sail date: November 25, 2017

Ship: Carnival Magic

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 3 years ago

Review summary

Carnival Magic review. My wife and I are waiting to disembark from our first cruise and very much look forward to getting off the boat. We learned a lot on this cruise. Mainly that cruises don't meet out travel and vacation goals and expectations. We are used to traveling all exclusive. A cruise is NOT an all exclusive experience, even if you purchase drink packages, and internet access, and excursions up front. On this cruise we were presented with a check to sign for every drink, no matter whether it was a cocktail or a bottled water. Even though the bill shows a package pre-purchase, you are presented with a gratuity request. Coffee=sign here, water=sign here, cocktail=sign here. In addition to apparently not being cruise people, there were specific things about this boat The Carnival Magic, that created a "less than desirable experience". 1). Carnival Magic, holds over 4000 guests. This is a big issue for meals as the wait to stand in the cafeteria line was at least 20 minutes and often over an hour for breakfast or lunch. Yes, you can quickly get through the salad line, but forget any hot plate line taking less than 20 to 30 minutes of standing in line. We spent most of our time, unfortunately at the taco, pizza and hamburger kiosks, simply because they had the shortest lines most of the day. f.y.i. We've not eaten fast food in years until this cruise. 2) The food in the cafeteria and in the main dining room was the same, low quality food. If you are a foodie, like we are, this cruise is NOT for you. Obviously trying to seat 4000+ people can be a dining challenge that the cruise manages very well. But you get this service in the main dining room at the expense of food quality. The food quality is about 3 steps lower than that of say, an Applebee’s. 3) I'm not a ship designer, but there were several definite oddities that hindered the experience on the Carnival Magic. Here are some examples: - They have an adults only "Serenity Deck" to give the adults an opportunity to get away from the families on the boat. The problem is the serenity deck is located under/next to the kids park/ water slides. Not a good location when all you hear are kids hollering with excitement running up the stairs and screams while coming down the slides. - Here is a BIG ONE. There are two pool decks, but only one kiosk location to get deck towels. So if you need a new towel, (because some kid has just sat on yours, or dropped their drink on yours, you must walk wet, and in my case, shirtless, through the main cafeteria, through the dining tables and people waiting in line to get to the other pool to gather a towel. NOTE: Your towel will get wet. The chairs on the deck are all in rows edge to edge. Which brings up number three. 3). Imagine a movie theatre where you have rows of chairs with small aisles where everyone has to share an armrest and stand when someone tries to get a seat in the center of the theatre. Do you have the image? This is an exact image of the sun decks and chairs. Chairs are pushed in armrest to armrest with about 30 in a row. You have no choice to be next to everyone. 4) Drink package rules don't allow you to get 2 alcoholic or two non alcoholic beverages at one time. I can somewhat understand this for alcohol stuff since they don’t want you sharing your allotted drinks. But you can't get a coffee and a water at the same time from the coffee shop. Not allowed. Move to the back of the line we were told. 5). Did I mention 4000 people trying to eat lunch in one big cafeteria with only four food stations and two salad stations. 6). Note, while we love kids and enjoy loud party music with the best of them, we also occasionally, while on vacation, like the music to be in the background, rather than at volumes that prevent conversation. (That statement makes us sound like prudes, but understand we have a ski boat with 8 large speakers and do enjoy loud music in the right setting.) At the sun /pool areas the music was so loud constantly, that you could not speak with the person next to you to ask them to move their arm off of your armrest. 7). The ship photographers. Some are fun and flexible. But some get very upset if you want to do a silly family picture. We just wanted to do a picture with funny faces. It wasn't like we were wanting to moon the camera, but just making faces the photographer came unhinged. I finally had to say, "why don't you let us pose for a photo we might actually purchase". 8). Back to the food. The main dining room is probably the most relaxing dining experience because you have wait staff who's very good. However the food is still very much below that an Applebee’s for example. 9) One more issue with the ship layout. The Carnival Magic has two additional restaurants that you have to pay additional money to dine there. One is a steakhouse, the other is an Italian restaurant. This restaurant has a good visual atmosphere and at first glance seems liked a good choice away from the "grazing" crowd. However, the constant bouncing and banging you will hear which sounds like the ceiling is about to fall in, is because the restaurant is located directly below the outdoor basketball court. You hear ever jump shot all day and all evening all through your dining experience. But it is free of kids screaming and the grazing passengers. All and all I would never recommend traveling on a Carnival Cruise. We did it with family and have no regrets trying to pick something affordable for all. But even families on a budget deserve a better experience than Carnival offers on this boat.


3 out of 5
Good and timely

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

1 out of 5
Substandard food quality. Long lines in the cafeteria.

Onboard Activities

2 out of 5


1 out of 5
The comedy shows were good and they changed up the act each night. The piano bar was terrible talent in that we went by on 4 different nights since it was near our dining room. Each night, while the entertainer appeared to take requests from the audience, actually played the same songs in the same sets each and every night. Poor Poor entertainment.

Service and Staff

4 out of 5

Ship Quality

1 out of 5

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
The cabin was great and we loved our housekeeper. Very attentive.

Ship tip

Don't do it.

Ports of call

Cozumel, Mexico

5 out of 5
Cozumel was great. We have friends who live there so they showed us around.

Belize City, Belize

1 out of 5
We will not go back to Belize. Very aggressive people and not seeming to be safe outside the armed security and razor wire surounding the port.

Mahogany Bay, Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras

4 out of 5
Loved Roatan. We might fly back to stay a few more days there. Will not take a cruise there. Not enough time for the quality time available there.

Costa Maya (Mahahual), Mexico

3 out of 5
It was nice.


2 out of 5
Good /fast.
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