Length: 1,004 ft
Dream-class; Outdoor SportsSquare, Cucina del Capitano, Cherry on Top, RedFrog Pub and RumRunners Tequila BarBest For People Who Want
Exciting and ritzy nightlife; numerous singles; alternative dining venues; the largest ship in the Carnival fleet; spacious cabins for three and four passengers; cabins with balconies; excellent fitness and spa facilities; high-energy atmosphere with varied daytime activities, including abundant children's programs.Should Be Avoided By People Who Prefer
An elegant, quiet and relaxing cruise; private areas away from the public, especially children.Onboard Experience
The 130,000-ton, 3,646-passenger Carnival Magic is the second edition of the largest Carnival cruise ship class to date, although it is still merely about 60% the size of the newest Royal Caribbean ships. Carnival has chosen not to go as large as some of it competitors. In fact, Magic is not a radically different Carnival ship even if it is the second ship from the first all new design Carnival has made in a decade. The biggest changes are a slightly subdued decor compared to previous Carnival ships, and a new entertainment venue called the "Ocean Bar" with outdoor seating on the promenade deck with cantilevered hot tubs close by.
There are certain aspects of Magic which it was the first to introduce to Carnival Cruise Lines: SportSquare, the fitness-and-fun area featuring the first ropes course at sea. Cucina del Capitano, Carnival's first-of-its-kind onboard Italian family-style dining experience. Cherry on Top, our sweet new candy-and-more store. RedFrog Pub, featuring Carnival's own ThirstyFrog Red — not to mention Caribbean-inspired appetizers, food and rum flights.
Another innovation on Carnival Magic is the "Fun Hub." These computer stations around the ship are not only internet connected but are also onboard networks for "social networking" with other cruisers. You can leave messages for people in your group or you can post messages for the whole ship to see. For example, if you brought your digeridoo and you want to have an Aussie jam session, you can suggest that all fellow aboriginals meet you on the pool deck at 2:00.
Not to poke fun, we actually think this is one of the better ideas any cruise ship has had for a long time. We at CruiseMates have always said that what ships need is better ways for like-minded individuals to meet on ships. You could have people from your high school just down the hall and not even realize it. It is a small world, and as far as we are concerned, Carnival is just helping to make it a friendlier place - not to mention the practical aspects of such a system.Decor
One of the best aspects about Carnival Magic is less focus on the Farcusian decor (refering to Joe Farcus, the famous decorator of previous Carnival ships known for being outlandish. Compared to other Carnival ships, Magic is one of the least garish ships in the fleet. There isn't any neon (the days replaced by the more efficient LED) tubing along the railings. The look is glass with chrome railings and wood finishings. There are a lot of pinlights of different colors, but you won't be over-stimulated as you might be on other Carnival ships.Public Rooms
Carnival Magic has a unique indoor/outdoor café and entertainment venue called Ocean Plaza in the mid-ships Promenade Deck. This is a first at sea, a public room with outdoor seating so close to the water line. Nearby the lanai seating are cantilevered hot tubs. The centerpiece of Ocean Plaza will be Plaza Café, a patisserie serving lattes, cappuccinos, espresso and other specialty coffees, along with sweets such as baked-on-board cakes, pies, cookies - even freshly made milkshakes. Full bar service, specializing in martinis, mojitos and other popular cocktails, will be offered, as well.
Magic's public rooms are breathtaking, with its imposing atrium covering ten decks and glass elevators to the Pool deck. The "Promenade" on Deck 5 includes benches along its boulevard for those wishing to rest between stops at the nearby wine bar, casino and the adult disco "Caliente Dance Club." The ship's nightclubs, primarily at the stern, include The Burgundy Lounge which becomes a comedy club four nights per week. The Song Jazz Lounge features one or two musicians playing classics of the 70's, 80's on the stage near its small dance floor. Sam's Piano Bar, a sing-along piano bar, is close to the Caliente Dance Club.
On the opposite end of Magic is the three-deck high Encore Main Lounge; aim for the lower balcony seats, a little off-center for the best view. Walking aft you next enter the Magic Atrium with the shopping area Fun Ships. The Jackpot Casino is the largest in the Carnival Fleet. Nearby the is the FunHub station just off the aforementioned Ocean Plaza. Hidden on Deck 4 (Atlantic Deck) are the extensive children's facilities including the Warehouse video-arcade and the two teen's discos, Circle C and Club 02. There are extensive conference facilities onboard on deck four.
Other diversions include a small library open for several hours each day and various boutiques selling a wide range of duty-free jewelry, perfume, and alcohol along with the usual cruise items.
Outside on the stern is a two-level Serenity adults-only retreat - the largest in the Carnival Fleet. The extensive water park along with a 23,750-square-foot health spa are both Carnival's largest to date.Cuisine
Magic offers attractive breakfast and lunch buffets, including an excellent salad bar and made-to-order dishes. For those with a sophisticated palate, the new menus feature chateaubriand, rack of lamb, and lobster, along with chocolate desserts. Delightful specialties can be found on the second tier of the Cezanne Restaurant and include the Sur Mer seafood station and an Asian food station that regularly rotates its dishes. There's a complimentary sushi bar on the Promenade Deck in the evenings, and vegetarian and low-salt items on every menu and at all stations.Restaurants
The two main dining rooms onboard are The Northern Lights Restaurant, midships, and the Southern Lights Restaurant in the stern. Both are two decks tall with their main entrances somewhat buried on deck three. Guests have their choice of six different appetizers and soups, two salads and six entrees each night. Also, Carnival Classics selections, including char-broiled steak made with the line's signature rub, grilled chicken and pasta dishes, along with a decadent dessert menu offering six different selections, including the cruise industry's most popular dessert - the Warm Chocolate Melting Cake - are offered nightly.
Carnival's Total Choice Dining provides for four seating times for a table in the Crimson Dining rooms at 5:45 or 6:15 p.m. and 8 or 8:30 p.m.. For those who prefer to dine when the mood strikes them can eat in the Scarlet Restaurant or at the poolside Lido restaurant which is offers buffet dinners between 6:00 and 9:00 p.m., no reservations required.
For those seeking more health-conscious cuisine, dining room menus feature Spa Carnival Fare selections, delicious, guilt-free items that are lower in calories, cholesterol, sodium and fat content. Vegetarian choices and children's menus are available, as well.
There is a two-level casual eatery called The LIdo Marketplace, offering breakfast, lunch and dinner. Culinary choices include Italian and Tex-Mex to tandoori and Asian specialties. A pasta bar will offer guests their choice of pasta, sauce and ingredients to create a custom-made dish of traditional Italian favorites such as Portobello ravioli or pasta carbonara. The Gathering will also house Carnival's popular 24-hour pizzeria with seven kinds of pies and calzone, Caesar salad and garlic bread.
Carnival Magic's burrito bar is also sure to be a popular spot where guests can create an overstuffed wrap featuring their choice of chicken, beef, shrimp, salsa and other accompaniments.
Also available within The Gathering will be a Mongolian wok offering custom-made stir-fries with guests' choice of meat and vegetables and finished with one of Carnival's signature sauces; Taste of the Nations, featuring a different international cuisine each day; a New York-style deli; a tandoori oven offering Indian-style chicken, fish and meatballs, along with traditional bread, chutneys and relishes; and a grille serving hot dogs, hamburgers and grilled chicken sandwiches.
The Gathering will also offer an extensive 35-item salad bar, 24-hour frozen yogurt, low-calorie dressings and sugar-free desserts for guests seeking healthier alternatives.
An expanded 24-hour room service menu will include new choices such as Medium Rare Roast Beef and Brie on French Baguette and Grilled Fresh Mozzarella and Portobello Mushroom on Focaccia. Room service orders are delivered to guests' staterooms any time of the day or night at no charge.
Located along Promenade Deck will be Wasabi, a sushi bar serving complimentary sushi, as well as sake.
For those seeking a more intimate dining experience, The Chef's Art, Carnival Magic's steakhouse-style restaurant, will offer delectable cuisine in memorable surroundings. Located on Spa Deck 12, this 139-seat venue offers a sumptuous menu of prime dry-aged U.S.D.A. beef - selections include a nine-ounce filet, 14-ounce strip loin, 18-ounce grilled prime rib chop and 24-ounce porterhouse - along with lobster tail, lamb chops, Chilean sea bass, Maine Lobster ravioli and more. Creamed spinach, Wasabi mashed potatoes, sautéed mushrooms and traditional sauces complete the steakhouse experience.
The delicious choices, combined with attentive service and an extensive wine list, make a meal at The Chef's Art truly unforgettable. Reservations are recommended and there is a charge of $30 per person.
Previously exclusive to Carnival Magic but now added to Dream and also to be included on Carnival Breeze is the new Ocean Plaza, a spectacular indoor/outdoor café and entertainment venue designed for guests to relax and people watch. In addition to a dance floor and a stage featuring live entertainment, Ocean Plaza will offer full Wi-Fi access, along with 12 stand-alone kiosks where guests can access the FunHub, Carnival Magic's comprehensive portal and exclusive on-board social network.Service
The staff on the Magic is prompt, well-organized, and prone to showing off, as when balancing trays on their heads while serving dessert. The maitre'd makes a point of learning the names of all couples celebrating an anniversary.Tipping
All Carnival cruises have a $10.00 per person per day (excluding children under two years of age) gratuity comprising $5.50 for the Dining Room service, $3.60 for the stateroom steward, and $.90 for the alternative dining rooms. This charge can be either automatically added to the Sail & Sign card or it can be prepaid (prepayment is mandatory on the Cruises-to-Nowhere). The purser's desk can decrease or increase this amount throughout the cruise. Tip room service, the maitre d', casino, spa, or other staff as you deem fit. The bar and beverage tabs all include a 15 percent gratuity to the bill.Entertainment
One of the new entertainment attractions on Magic include a new comedy club, to be held in the 425-seat Burgundy Lounge. It offers six shows per night, alternating between two commedians. The last two shows of the evening will be the adults only shows, one offered by each commedian. Making it even better, half-way through the cruise Carnival will bring in two different comedians for two fresh shows. This means that all together there will be eight different comedy shows for each passenger to see, a "family" and an "R-rated" show from each of four different comedians.
Carnival has a laser light show that goes off every night with a different theme. The laser-works are choreographed to songs by different well-known rock bands like Styx and Van Halen, Rush and Pink Floyd. Smoke machines enhance the laser effects.
The ship has three different major production shows in the main theater, "Encore," each week-long cruise. Sam's is a sing-a-long piano bar. Caliente is the disco dance club with a high-tech sound and lighting system. Ocean Plaza is the new indoor/outdoor cafe/entertainment venue on the Promenade deck that will showcase various styles of music as well as art, photo and spa seminars, scrapbooking classes, magicians, jugglers, trivia contests and more. An acrobatic troupe called Fun Force will entertain guests in Ocean Plaza and at various venues around the ship.
The main Showtime Theater presents outstanding production shows featuring beautiful costumes and Vegas-quality light shows, but even the smaller venues have great acts and music, particularly the sing-along piano bar. There is a Caribbean band on the pool deck. More interactive activities include numerous bingo games, art auctions, ballroom dancing, karaoke, and "game show mania".Cabins
Several new accommodation categories, including five-berth, two-bathroom staterooms especially for families, will be offered. There is also a new style of balcony cabin called the Cove Balcony located on surprisingly lower decks, below the promenade decks. These balconies are shadier than the higher ones as they are built into the hull of the ship.
The suites and ocean view staterooms come with complimentary bathrobes and a mini bar. The cabins located on the outside are 220 sq. feet and include a coffee table and plush leather sofa. The inside cabins are 195 sq. feet in area and are great for families or large groups of singles due to their pull-down berths that provide extra sleeping space. Families might prefer the 230 sq. feet cabins located next to the children's center. All the large bathrooms include a shower (the suites are the only cabins with tubs), basket of toiletries, and hair dryer. The cabins come standard with a color TV that includes ESPN, CNN, and movies. There is plentiful storage space, with three closets and a several drawers. for those of special needs are available.Fitness/Spa
The gym's 15,000 sq.. feet is full of treadmills, stationary bikes, stairmasters, rowing and hydraulic weight machines, and of course free weights. The strategically placed equipment allows you to enjoy the lovely panoramic views offered by the floor-to-ceiling windows. For runners, a lap on the jogging deck, which surrounds the smokestack, is equivalent to 1/11 of a mile.Attire
The attire on cruises became decidedly less formal at the end of the 2000's, and now even formal nights are merely suggestions. Most men wear dark jackets and ties are optional. While jeans aren't technically allowed in the dining room no one is going to stop you from entering. Daytime wear is strictly casual.
First let me lead off by explaining that we took our first cruise in 1991. I'm not sure how many cruises we've been on but it exceeds twenty. We have had 5 cruises with Carnival. I am always amazed by people who find so many negative issues on a cruise and then write a negative review. I usually conclude they are just negative people as I have always enjoyed my cruises, but some are better than others. I could never imagine writing a negative review, until I took a cruise on the Carnival Magic into the Western Caribbean.
When we departed Galveston It was only 45 degrees, windy and very cold. The heater in the room didn't work but the AC had the room at about 50 bone chilling degrees. I called customer services and waited 25 minutes with no answer (I attempted to call them on four other occasions just out of curiosity and never got an answer. Finally I concluded the phone didn't work.). I found our room steward who got a maintenance person to come. He couldn't fix it so he turned off the AC and just lefton the ventilation. I still had to stuff a towel in the vent so we didn't freeze. It was allegedly fixed but we felt the thermostat was only cosmetic and never worked. I continued to use a towel to control air flow out of the vent. On the way home we used the hair dryer to heat the room. In talking with other passengers we found several with HVAC problems. Repeated attempts to call customer service went unanswered. Attempts to dial "O" for the operator yielded no ring and therefore no answer )Out-of order phone).
We enjoy the shows and entertainment on cruise ships and were in shock on the third night (A sea night) when there was no show. Instead of a show, the dancers taught passengers three dances and then held a dance off. We watched because there was nothing else to do. Actually we were chuckling that somebody from Carnival thought this was what passed for entertainment. On the fourth night there was only one show which was held at 10:00 pm. On the night of their "big show" they opened the doors twenty minutes before show-time. People began lining up at 40 minutes before. There was no organization for the lines and it could have been a disaster given the crowding and line cutting that took place. It was obvious that Carnival had no idea how to manage a crowd. It was totally disorganized and tense. People were getting irritated at each other and one wrong word could have resulted in a real mess.
On our first port stop we had horrible weather with high winds an torrential winds. Many tours were cancelled and there was little to do in Mahogany Bay forcing many people back on the ship. We tried to eat at 1:00 pm and there was no place to sit. Once we found a table I observed several tables that were not cleaned-up for 20 minutes. The buffet was under-staffed, it appeared they never adjusted the staffing to compensate for the over-whelming extra demand. It appeared that under-staffing was a theme for this ship. Returning to the ship after being in Cozumel we decided to get a piece of pizza to tide us over until dinner. The was only one person making and serving pizza. I was the sixth person in line and it took over 15 minutes. It appeared he was trying to custom make pizza's rather than mass produce. There needed to be 2-3 people to meet the crunch.
Even the entertainment staff was short. On Celebrity or RCL they would have had two male and two female singers but Carnival had only two vocalists. Even the show band had only six instrumentalists. Overall Carnival seems to be short staffing to try and milk as much profit as possible. This was also illustrated by the actions of Carnival during our torrential rains. Carnival was right there with poncho's to serve the passengers but of course they made them available for a modest fee. How many people bring poncho's on a Caribbean cruise? Everything on a cruise is to make a profit, but this bordered on ridiculous.
The buffet was horribly organized. No matter when we went we had to hunt for a table and wait in long lines. Nothing is worse than standing in long slow lines while you are trying to relax on vacation. Carnival really needs to study how RCL sets up their buffet to minimize lines and crowding. Given the size of the Carnival Magic the food stations were poorly organized. In several cases we gave up on the long waits and slow lines and just ate what we could get to.
Our dining room service was excellent. Tatianna was our head waitperson and was a good as any we have ever experienced. Unfortunately the food offered by Carnival has taken a dramatic downward spiral. Carnival was once the best at sea. We always looked forward to "Lobster Night." We remember having the waiters bring extra lobsters around to keep everyone happy. This year it was "lobster and shrimp." It was hard to tell what was smaller. The lobster could not have been more than three ounces and it was tough. The selections for dinner were uninspired and lacked the creativity from previous years. We have seen a decrease in overall food quality on cruise ships over the past 10 years, but nothing like the slide we've seen on Carnival.
Carnival seems to have engaged in a race to the bottom of the cruise industry. Formal night is now "cruise elegant" which is less formal than most casual Fridays at work. Many men wore golf shirts to the "cruise elegant" dinner. Norwegian Cruise Lines has given up on Formal Night, Carnival should just give up too. I have many fond memories of past Carnival cruises, but this cruise will be my last with them. I will definitely seek cruises with RCL, Holland American, and Celebrity who seem to be better managed. I hope in future years Carnival can get it back together.
The Cruise itself was o.k. we had a pretty good time. The food was really not all that good or fresh for that. Our room attendant was PERFECT and our formal dinning team with Arsana was Fabulous. What happened on the cruise and during will blow your socks off. This type of SCAM should be put on AMERICAN GREED!
On the second day of our cruise, mind you we had just been on one full day with the first day having to give Carnival in Galveston our Credit Card numbers to allocate them with your Sail and Sign card. On the second FULL day of our cruise we went to the Spotlight lounge for a little Comedy and we ordered a drink. Well the lady comes back and says that our card is NOT working that I will have to go to Guest Services (CON ARTIST services) and fix the mess up.
So after the Comedy I go and I happen to get the only person that is working at Guest Services and I let her know that my Sail and Sign card the card that you swipe for EVERYTHING,is not working and it was just working 24 hours ago, when I boarded this ship. She writes my Credit Card number down and swipes it in their little machine and states all is well, that she was not sure what happened with my card.
Well, we are at Sea for two days so on the Fourth day of the cruise we are in Jamaica and when we get their we turn our phones on, because our children are going one way and we are going another. So we had set up with ATT to have Texting service only in Jamaica. When I turn my phone on, I noticed there were 7 missed calls. I could not call them back because of the expense, so they would have to wait. So we did our excursions and got back on the Ship.
Day five in Caymen Islands we purchased some items, paying cash and used another credit card that we had called letting them know we would be in Caymen Islands, Jamaica, and Mexico. We get back on ship and sail away. Day 6 we are in Mexico, and we tried to use our Credit Card the same one we had put on our sail and sign card on the ship and they told us it was declined. We knew it could not be because we have a 25,000 limit and we knew we were NO WHERE NEAR THAT!!! So we had to use cash.
Last day at sea and the day before we get home and we signed up for the Carnival Card to earn points. Thank the Lord we did, because we would have been denied with our other card, because unannounced to us it had been closed due to unauthorized usage in Canada. (I wonder who the guest service person knows in Canada?) So we get off when we dock in Galveston and we get to our car and I immediately call our Credit Card Company and research our usage and History. We were told that on September 3, the day after the card would NOT work for us on the ship there were purchases made for Gas in Canada and others in Canada and then they looked up where we had called stating we would be in Cayman, Jamaica, Mexico so the Credit Card Company knew it was fraud and they closed it and it would be up to two weeks before we would receive another one.
AHHHH! we do everything with that card. So we attempt to write a letter and an email and let Carnival know what has occurred and all they could say was, call the authorities where we live and they will cooperate with everything. Well if any of you know when you get your card stolen the people who are using it, are sure not going to be going to the same gas station and getting gas and smokes, drinks etc on an everyday basis. They are long gone using our card or at least trying to.
So I write CArnival back saying the fraud Dept with our Credit Card has closed the account to stop the hemorrhaging and we will have to once the statement comes in, just let them know which ones are ours and which ones are the thieves who got our card numbers along with all codes from the only person that had it in their hands while it was out of ours in 15 seconds. The Con Artist Guest Service Person. Needs more money so she is Selling Credit CArd numbers to her friends back home. AHHHHHHHHHHH and Carnival I Care Dept. can only write a letter saying Call the police and we will talk to anyone we need to.
Well the new CEO is names Arnold Donald who took over Micky Arison's position after being the CEO for over 30 years after his father BUILT this Company, however there was the Triumph that went up in flames, then the other ship that had to have Coast Guard go help them home with all the clients, I say he went out with a BANG!!!!
So do you trust Carnival's employees well, if you want. Oh, the lady St. Ahmad that wrote me the letter said they have extensive guidelines to make sure their guest sensitive information is not stolen. I had to remind her that I am sure that Enron had guidelines for people NOT to steal from their employees and look what happen? Someone got greedy as in this case! I also had to let her know that you can go online and see all the people who buy these machines to make their own Credit cards that match what you and I are carrying right now in our wallets and purses. All the thieves need is some particular numbers and secure numbers on the back. and WHOLA!!!
This was our first cruise. We were on the Carnival Triumph. We had a lot of fun on both aboard the ship and the excursions. We went with several other couples, and one of the couples were Platinum members so we had access to a lot of information first time cruisers would not have had without a lot of research!
The food was wonderful. Due to the issues the ship had, it has been refit with the "2.0 upgrades". The dining room and staff were wonderful. The food was awesome. The chocolate melting cake was delicious (it was hard to try other deserts)! The ice cream cafe was wonderful. The Casino was a lot of fun. They had table games (poker, blackjack, etc...) as well as a wide variety of slot machines from penny on up. The Lido deck was one big buffet. The diet when to heck in a handbag on this ship.
The staff members on the ship are from all over the world. English is not their first language and you might not be able to get a lot of help from those not directly in customerservice.
We attended several shows and all were very well produced. The adult comedy was hilarious. The main auditorium, which can seat several hundred people, was well laid out.
The only real complaint I can say about the ship is it is not handicap friendly (I suspect this is true of all cruise lines). My girlfriend hurt herself and had to use a wheel chair towards the end of the trip and there were a lot of places we could no longer access. Unless you have the trip insurance, you will have to pay to rent a chair.
If you want your picture taken, then this is the ship for you! They were everywhere (This also got to be annoying after a while).
Drinks are a bit pricey so be careful (but they are good!) If you drink a lot of soft drinks, get the soda card. I will be taking more cruises with Carnival!