This was our first cruise and we didn't know what to expect, but now we are hooked. The Magic was such a great ship and the staff was so great I'm afraid of the standard it has set to compare all other ships to. I think the value for price paid is phenomenal and I can't say enough about waking up to a different view every day. Carnival is the fun ship with so much to do all the time, great food, and great people. I would definitely recommend this ship and this cruiseline. They have put away all of my fears of cruising.
5 out of 5
Food and Dining
4 out of 5
The food was excellent everywhere, I was just disappointed in the food times. I thought there would be a good variety of food available 24 hours a day but there were a couple of times that the options were very limited in the middle of the afternoon. Both Pig & Anchor BBQ and the included pasta restaurant were only open on sea days for 2 hours each. The lido deck buffet closed down between meals leaving only burgers, pizza, and the deli open for the entire ship. I just wish there had been more availability during the off times because of our schedule.
5 out of 5
There was so much to do all the time even if it didn't include the ship's amenities such as the water slides, sports court, or even the pools. There were large showroom shows, a full comedy club with 4 shows per night, dances, competitions, and trivia from 8am - 12pm. You could count on having a ton available and no lack of options. I brought 5 books because I thought there would be a lot of laying around with nothing else to do. I didn't even open a single book all week!
5 out of 5
The showroom performers were very talented and I enjoyed seeing their range as the same ones performed multiple different shows throughout the week. The comedians changed up regularly and we liked some but not others, the variety was good, though.
5 out of 5
We barely saw our two teens (Circle C and O2) because they spent so much time in their teen clubs or with the kids they met in their teen clubs. The staff there really made them feel welcome and helped them have a good time. My 13 year old was worried and actually upset that we wanted her to check out the teen club. But she loved it.
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
We tried a couple of different waiters but settled on our first ones by asking for them for our remaining meals. Joseph, Juan and Derrick were a great team and Joseph really made us feel like part of the family. I really enjoyed the entertainment and fun from Lindsey and Vanessa and greatly appreciated the enthusiasm, availability, and effort of our cruise director Malcolm. Our room steward Richard always told us hi by name in the hallway.
5 out of 5
The Magic was extremely clean and modern. There were so many places to sit and hang out, have a drink, read, play games, or anything!
Cabin / Stateroom
5 out of 5
Do not miss out on the Pig & Anchor BBQ on sea days. Arrive early to the buffet at meal times to wait in a shorter line or go after the ship has docked in port.
Amber Cove really just felt like a giant tourist trap. It was my very first port and there were a handful of shops, including a craft market, and a large pool with attached restaurant and bar. I thought the craft market was made up of local goods so I bought from there but it turned out it was the same as every other item offered at every shop in every port. The drinks were expensive and weak (IMO) but it was nice to relax in a large pool (although it was overheated). The sky was overcast and the water slides were out of service. If I had it to do over again I would take a ride to nearby Puerto Plata or do an excursion. This was my least favorite port and we headed back to the ship early.
St. Thomas was beautiful but expensive. We did not book an excursion and had decided to take a taxi to the nearest beach since it was supposed to have beautiful beaches and the area around the port was just full of souvenir shops. I didn't realize that the cost of a taxi was per person and not per car. A trip to the nearest beach, Emerald Beach, was $48 round trip for 4 people. We wanted to go to Magens Beach but it was $64 for the cab plus $20 admission for 4.
Emerald Beach ended up being very pretty but kind of small and there weren't many people at all. It was like an alcove off of the ocean.
Wow! San Juan was full of so much architecture and history. The cobblestone streets, colorful row houses, iron balconies, and historic forts were amazing to walk through. Even though there was a free trolley system around the city, everything in Old San Juan was within walking distance. The main jewelry stores had free Sangria and Mimosas right inside, Senor Frogs was handing out coupons for a free shot, and there were little shops everywhere for souvenirs. It was HOT, but I wish we had more time to explore the city. I would have loved to see the newer San Juan as well. Did I mention there were WILD IGUANAS everywhere?
I was so impressed with this port. The boat parked right on the beach which was made of the clearest water I've ever seen. The beach was lined with free lounge chairs and umbrellas specifically for cruise passengers. There was also a Margaritaville right on the beach with a huge resort-style public pool/party pool for everyone to use. We spent hours "snorkeling" in the water and seeing all kinds of fish, and then we moved to the pool to kind of wash off the sand and salt and wind down our day. We watched some pool dances and listened to the DJ and even got a drink at the swim up bar (we got the kids a virgin daquiri and a shirley temple as well because the pool was family friendly). There were also a few shops, pretty much the same stuff as was found at every other port, but everything was most expensive here. They did have a Harley Davidson and don't let the craft market fool you, they're not anything but the same souvenirs in the regular stores. I was so impressed with this port but don't wait too long to get back on the ship or you will end up in a huge line.
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