Year Started: 1972
Ships in Fleet: 24
Summary: The most successful cruise line in history. Don't be misled, a high-quality cruise experience perfect for families and young couples, Fantastic value. the FUN ships, but not "party boats."
Regions:Caribbean Eastern, Caribbean Western, Caribbean
Good for: First-time Cruisers. Families. Singles.
Good for: Value for Money. Overall Service. Children`s Programs.
Good for: Families. Singles. Seniors.
Good for: Families. Singles. Overall Service.
Regions: Bahamas, Caribbean, Canada/New England, Cruise To Nowhere
Good for: Families. Teens. Children`s Programs.
Good for: Teens. First-time Cruisers. Families.
Regions:Caribbean Eastern, Caribbean Western
Good for: Teens. Singles. Families.
Regions:Caribbean Eastern, Caribbean Western
Good for: Singles. Group. Families.
Regions:Mexico, Caribbean Eastern, Hawaii
Good for: Families. Overall Service. Value for Money.
Regions:Bahamas, Caribbean Eastern
Good for: Singles. Group. First-time Cruisers.
Regions:Bahamas, Caribbean Eastern
Good for: Overall Service. Seniors. Families.
Regions:Bahamas, Bermuda, South America
Good for: Group. Families. Foodies.
Regions:Europe, TransAtlantic, Caribbean
Good for: Families. Value for Money. Seniors.
Good for: Families. Children`s Programs. Singles.
Regions:Caribbean Eastern, Caribbean Western
Good for: Group. Families. Luxury Travelers.
Good for: Group. Singles. First-time Cruisers.
Good for: Singles. First-time Cruisers. Overall Service.
Good for: Families. Singles. Teens.
Good for: Families. Value for Money. First-time Cruisers.
Regions:Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexico, Panama Canal
Good for: Families. Singles. Children`s Programs.
Good for: Families. Seniors. Children`s Programs.
Good for: First-time Cruisers. Families. Group.
Good for: Families. Group. Singles.
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.
We had a relaxing cruise aboard the Miracle in an aft extended view balcony and wanted to share the good, the great, and the minor bummers. I am 40, my husband 50 and our son is 4. This was a 40th birthday cruise for me. Probably our 14th cruise or so, but who is counting?! We'd repeat this trip because it was an overall excellent value and great experience.
Faster to the Fun:
I'll start with major props on the Faster to the Fun concept. For $50 we are so glad we made the investment. We were some of the first on the ship (by 12:30pm due to a slower than usual disembarkation process from the prior Hawaii cruise) and praise the staff for always recognizing us as FTTF and whisking us to priority tenders, priority self assist debarkation, etc. We will always cruise this way as long as Carnival makes this option available at such a good price. And YES, FTTF is listed on the priority check in sign, right next to Platinum, etc. This was really nice for us traveling with a 4 year old and arriving to theport at 10:30am. A front desk agent surveyed us on our FTTF experience mid way through the cruise by phoning our cabin. The only less than perfect feedback I had for her (when asked) was that our luggage wasn' in our room when we arrived on embarkation day, but we didnâ€™t care one bit about that since it arrived shortly thereafter.
Here is our video tour of aft extended balcony cabin #7351.
We loved this cabin. It was quiet (staterooms above and below), clean, and located quite conveniently to the Horatioâ€™s restaurant (LOVE that I only had to take two quick flights of stairs for our morning coffee run!). The bed was among the top three most comfortable on any ship we'e ever experienced. We pack our own pillows, but still, the mattress was just soft enough, the sheets were soft and we slept like babies. My 4 year old son slept on the couch converted to a bed, and he loved the gentle rumble of the engines lulling him to sleep each night. There was less engine vibration and noise on the aft of the Miracle than we've experienced on other ships. Just enough to be soothing and rock you to sleep. The balcony was showing a bit of wear and wasn't super clean, and I didn't care for the food smell that wafts toward the aft when you are on the back of the ship, but the lack of wind makes that part bearable. There was never a time when we couldn't be out on the balcony. Even late at night on the coolest of evenings it was calm and lovely to watch the wake. Storage was ample, closet space rocked, and the shower seemed bigger to me than most. We'd choose this cabin again and again.
Our dining experience:
We dined at the Steakhouse, Nick and Nora's, twice on this voyage. The first experience was on the night of our cruise - after learning that we weren't happy with our main dining room table assignment. Shortly after boarding, we visited the main dining room and were told we were to be seated at a big table with others (we'd chosen assigned /6pm, table of 4 for the three of us). So, until this was resolved, we decided to pay the premium and hit Nick and Nora's. We dined there a second time on the second formal night. It was wonderful!
Both times, I had the lobster bisque, Caesar salad, surf and turf (Lobster
I have never written a review and I use my own judgment when reading them but this is totally over the top.
On the second day of our cruise my wife bit into a piece of glass and cut the inside of her mouth while eating breakfast from the Lido Deck buffet. She was treated at the medical center and a security report was taken (both are jokes). She cried for two days and wanted to leave the cruise and come home so she could be close to her doctor in case anything happened, not knowing if she had swallowed any glass fragments and what might happen if she had.
The only thing we received from Carnival was a letter slipped under our door saying if we need anything call guest services. We decided to ride it out and take our chances. The only information we received we had to ask for and Carnival does not give up information easily.
On the last day of our cruise we talked to the food service manager and was told that after his investigation it was a piece of plastic from the cups usedon Lido deck and that it did not come from the food prep area. So has anyone ever broken one of these glasses? I have seen them cracked and if dropped they bounce but never broken.
That tells me that someone done this to hurt someone, either an upset employee or a passenger. I want to think that is not the case but it is 2013 and crazier things have happened. If so putting objects in food is a criminal act in my mind. I think Carnival knows more than they are telling. I called Carnival and asked for some compensation and was told I would not receive any because my wife was treated at the medical center for free, WHAT.
I think at the least Carnival owes us a FULL REFUND and another free cruise. You can go to any restaurant in America and if you find something in your food they will compensate you. Even dog food companies will recall dog food if they find foreign objects in it. Carnival has all of these Vacation Guarantees but when something happens they are not worth the paper they are written on.
We are Platinum cruisers and have been loyal to Carnival throughout their problems, but this may have been our last cruise with them. I have not ruled out suing and contacting other authorities to further investigate. I am contacting any TV, newspaper, radio, Facebook and Tweeter, anyone that will listen. I am PISSED and I want some satisfaction. This could have turned out badly. By the way our cabin steward Jessie was THE BEST EVER.
We had a wonderful time on our cruise, enjoyed the room we had with a balcony (cabin 8230). It was near the stairs/elevator and just one flight up to the buffet. The "Serenity deck" was awesome (no one under 21). There is also an inside pool which was great as long as you could get into it before the kids did! The gym was very nice too, as well as the steam room and sauna. The only thing that keeps this from being 5 star is that Carnival allows smoking on the balcony decks, which affects other balconies.
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!!!
We have cruised on this ship about 4 times and always have a good time. This time was a little different. The room attendants did not introduce themselfs until we cornered them in our room on afternoon while they were "cleaning?"
The glasses for the ice bucket were not changed out daily, the beds were worn out. They took our robes we left sinde they were wet from the spa, but refused to give up replacement ones ! What the heck??
The dining was good, the food great, and service terrific! The same old shows, need new material.
The captain did take 3 hours to dock at Costa Maya, due to high winds and sea. He could have just not stopped but kept trying and they stayed in port an extra hour to make up for the delay for excursions could be taken as planned.
This ship could use an update, as the interiors are very dated.
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!
We travelled on the Carnival Magic July 7-14,2013. We were not impressed at all because of the mediocre service from the cabin to the dining room. When we first arrived at our cabin it had trash from the previous guest. If questions were brought to guest services, there was an I don't care attitude.
The head waiter at out table for dinner was not pleasant. He rushed us to order and we felt as if we were annoying him if we needed service. The assistant waiters were great.The food was food until Wednesday night. That is when is went downhill. Nothing tasted delicious.
Our children did enjoy the water park.it was great.
The two shows that we were able to see we're just okay. Other shows on the ship were in the club areas that could not accommodate all those that wanted to attend. So we were told to come back at the next showing, but the other thousands of people that were turned away would also try to return, so we gave up.
I was waiting for an announcement for the chocolate buffet, but it never came. My daughter over heardother passengers talking about it and that was the only way we knew about it.
Another thing that was not advertised was lunch in the Italian restaurant on Lido deck. We thought we had to pay extra for that, but again we heard other guest discussing how they ate free for lunch each day there.
I will say that the excursions to Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel were fantastic. Overall the service, food and accommodations was not worth what we paid for this cruise.
Our family will not be traveling on the Carnival Magic ever again. When the Carnival Conquest sailed from Galveston, service and food was excellent.
Just returned from an 8 day cruise on the Breeze and it was spectacular!
The embarkation was the quickest that we have had. Miami definitely has their act together. I must say we are Platinum members and do get priority boarding but this was the best we have ever had. We where directed through security to a private lounge where we where given our sail and sign cards and where escorted to the ship within 15 minutes where our cabins where ready.
We had cabin 7316 and it was very nice and our cain steward, Linda, was fantastic. The cabin it self was 2 decks above one of the hot tubs which made sitting on the balcony noisy at times but still enjoyable.
The ship it self is beautiful and done in soft caribbean colors.
There are numerous place to eat so we didn't find a problem with lines. One of the hidden areas for breakfast is in deck 5 by the coffee bar. Nice continental food along with eggs, hot cereals, sliced meats, etc. Most passengers gravitate to the Lido deck which can be very crowded for breakfast.
Make sure you try Guy'sBurgers at least once and if you like sushi go to the sushi place on deck 5. You do pay but it is well worth it and you can get it to go if there isn't any seating. We always dine one night in the Steak House and as usual it did not disappoint.
We had late dining in the Sapphire Dining Room and had Lloyd and his staff serve us. Very good food and excellent service.
We visited 4 ports and enjoyed all.
Grand Turk- There is a free beach as you get off the ship if you do not want to book an excursion. It is great and since we where the only ship there it was that crowed.
La Romana- We chose not to get off the ship but if you do you will need to take either an excursion or find a way into the city.
Curacao - The city is a short walk from the ship and is beautiful, Don't miss the swinging bridge.
Aruba - We decided to take a bus tour of the island and did enjoy it. As a matter of fact we plan to go back and spend a week. Our friends went to a private island to swim, snorkel and there was a water park there also.
In all we had 3 sea days. One at the beginning of the cruise and two at the end and it was so enjoyable.
Debarkation was again easy. Love the luggage carousels, made finding ours soooo easy.
My Carnival experience turned out to be the worst vacation of my life and I have had some horrible ones. I should have known when my father was going through the security check and they asked him for his card. My father has Parkinson's and it takes him while sometimes to be able to get an object in his hands. Instead of asking "Can I help you with it?" the gentleman (and I use the term most sarcastically) pushed my dad's wheelchair out of the way and said â€œJust get out of the way. - I should have taken that as a sign.
The trip only gets worse from there. The conditions of the boat were horrible and the floors were often wet or coated in spilled food in the dining rooms on the Lido deck. I complained that I have slipped several times on the floor and the staff just shrugged at me and continued their conversation. It wasn't until I fell and a bunch of cruise goers had to help me up that the staff even took notice to clean up what appears to be dressing I slippedin spilled all over the floor. My nephew suffered cuts and bruises on his knees because of the same indifference to safety.
We were part of a wedding party and supposed to be seated together in the dinning room. This trip was planned for 9 months ahead of time. Carnival inevitably screwed it up again and kept bumping people off of our wedding party in the dining room causing us to have to be split up for all but one night of the cruise.
One of the humiliating highlights of our dining experience was when one of the members of my family ordered veal for dinner. It came out so tough it was unable to be cut with a steak knife. She asked the server if he could bring her another one because it was too tough to eat. He started to make fun of her saying she needed to put some muscle into it and did she know how to use a knife? She was getting offended by his comments but the worst was yet to come. He leaned over her and began to cut her food for her and even he couldn't do it. She was about to leave the table she was so embarrassed by the way she was spoken to and treated.
Finally, the disembarkation process was the worst. A porter was supposed to arrive at our room to help us the morning of disembarkation. This was part of the wedding party package that was paid for. The night before we confirmed this with both Guest Services and a supervisor because so much about this cruise was screwed up. At 8:15, no porter. 8:30, no porter. We called and he was on his way. 8.45, no porter. 9 am we called again and they sent someone. We sat in the lobby for over an hour waiting to disembark with our party. Guest Services lied and told us our party has already left the ship and we needed to do the same when in fact we were speaking to them on the phone and they said they were still waiting to be taken to meet us. By that time, I called Carnival customer service and loudly explained my situation to the customer service manager. Amazingly, the staff (all 5 that were standing around doing nothing but chatting with each other) were able to help us. It still took another 45 minutes to get the rest of our party (that was supposedly already off the boat) off the boat to meet us.
Finally, once we were off the boat, we moved our bags and my father in his wheelchair to a designated handicap pick up area and I left to get the car. I returned to someone yelling, yes YELLING, at my father to move out of the way that he wasn't supposed to be there and he had to get all the bags and move NOW. Are you for real?
With all of this drama going on, we had to contend with surly crew members, a less than helpful Guest Services staff, rooms that were either so cold my nephew had to sleep in two pairs of sweats and a hoodie and socks or rooms so hot they were uninhabitable most of the trip. The food was mediocre to poor at best and requests for no cheese on burgers and small special requests were greeted with a very poor attitude. We found the crew to be less than helpful and acted as if it was an imposition to help or do their job. Many of the crew were happier to stand around and converse than actually do their jobs. Finally, there seemed to be a sewage issue in many of the cabins for the entire trip. The smell permeated the hallways and was very unpleasant. When I asked about this, the staff shrugged at me and walked away.
There were some amazing staff members aside from the horrible ones. The standout staff members were Ketut (our room attendant who tried to fix the temperature issue desperately), the kids club staff were excellent and always amazing to my nephew, and the dining room staff of the Elation were pretty good. They had no hand in the wedding seating disaster and made every accommodation to try and seat the party together. The rest of the staff needs to be replaced.