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Old June 6th, 2012, 10:30 PM
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Default Carnival Magic = No Magic for us !!!

This was my 8th cruise with Carnival. I have always been very happy and amazed at the wonder of cruising. This trip was not GREAT!!
Beautiful ship, but too many changes.
The menu was drab and food not as good as before.
The entertainment was not good at all. Cheap and not the VEGAS style as before.
The Captains party was boring and you had to BUY your drink and others were $1 off.
We had convinced another couple to come with us and they were disappointed as well.
WE never saw the Cruise Director unless there was a scheduled event and she was only there for a few minutes. The Cruise Director has always been very accessible during the other cruises.
YOU must buy the sea sickness pills at $3.49 for 4 pills. They used to be free. I can buy dramamine cheaper than that.
The Piano bar had a guitar player there for the first 4 nights. Then we were told the piano player was sick and would be back- again, poor entertainment.
There was a supposed "burlesque" show, that appeared to be thrown together, and not rehearsed.
The comedians were fair. Only one, Mutsie, he was good and not foul mouthed. Funny and improvised with everyone.
The Just June was same ole, same ole. Using the F word too often. Sometimes is appropriate, sometimes, just worthless.
The cowboy - was fighting with a audience member and not performing a show. F this and F you is not a show.
The worst part was wanting to complete the sky course- obstacle course as advertised. We got there at 5pm and they were closing. The times were not posted there, in small print in the FUN TIMES. VERy disappointing, The very last day at sea, we had waited to do this and they could not let us. There reasoning is they had been there from 9am and wanted to close at 5pm.

I cannot believe I feel so negative, this in not how I am.
I LOVE cruising and I am very disappointed, $2000 + wasted.
Thanks for listening,

The two wonderful things were the Itallian Dinner Restaurant and the new way to find your pictures. You use your sail and sign card. The Steak house was good also. Surf and Turf is the best.

I guess I will have to go back to the Conquest, my favorite old ship.
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Last edited by NancyB; June 6th, 2012 at 10:37 PM.
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Old June 7th, 2012, 07:19 AM
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I know some people say they've never had a bad cruise and that it's what you make it, but once in a while one of those "bad" cruises sneaks in. I had one last December, the ship just was not a good fit for me.
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Old June 7th, 2012, 12:06 PM
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It seems that we are hearing this a bit more about Carnival lately - and that is too bad. Another cruiser came by just a few days ago and said she had just taken her thrid Carnival cruise and was not impressed.

I have heard some scuttlebutt about cutbacks, nickel & diming, etc. But I have not been onboard a Carnival ship lately.

I will tell you this, though - Carnival Dream (Magic and Breeze) are all very crowded ships for their size. Breeze can hold almost 4900 passengers (total) at 130,000 tons. That is not much less than Oasis at 220,000-tons.

Furthermore, this is the direction cruising is going. They are going to be packing people in. The ships are slightly larger, but per person they are getting much smaller.

I am sorry to hear yuo did not enjoy your cruise. By the way, I am an experienced cruiser and one thing that REALLY gets my goat is bad information - tiny typeset in the daily program etc. I agree with you, service needs to be better.
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Old June 7th, 2012, 12:49 PM
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Default Carnival Magic

Your not the only one who was not impressed with the Carnival Magic. I agree that the Carnival Conquest, especially with the 2.0 upgrades, is preferable to the Magic. IMHO.

I've sailed the Magic for 30 days, but at least had the advantage of the top entertainers. Those folks are now all on the Breeze so I bet the entertainment has really dropped off on the Magic. Same with service as the key staff that brought out the ship are no longer there.

Read my recent reviews (4) on the Magic on my blog if you wish, you will find my comments very similar to yours.

This is one post:
Carnival Magic Comments

I have been asked to make comments about my impression of the new Carnival Magic cruise ship since I have recently cruised on her for 23 days. I think a list is a simple and quick way to do it:


Exceeded Expectations:
Red Frog Pub
Cucina del Capitano
Water Works
Ron Pass
A Kiss Goodnight
Piano Bar (open concept and non smoking)
Mongolian Grill
Embarkation & Debarkation
Ocean Plaza concept
Desserts in Lido Marketplace
pico de gallo (surprisingly good)
Cookies
Will Marion
Guest Services Desk
Behind the FUN tour
Housekeeping Department
Leche Caliente at breakfast in the MDR
Waffle Station for breakfast
Face recognition computer in photo area

Needs to Improve:
Thruster Problems.
Powered down at night--causing lack of air conditioning.
Mexican food tasted like Indian food.
Not near enough wait staff in MDR.
Not enough entry points to ship when in port...long lines...need more entries.
They need hand sanitizers at the computer Hub locations.

Personal Observations:
Dining room waiters and staff have far too many tables. This does not allow time for the interaction between guests that was always such an important part of the cruise experience. Too many tables slows service for many and food temperature and quality suffers. As a foodie the MDR is a very important part of the cruise.

I prefer the 8N balconies and they are smaller on the Magic than on a Conquest class ship.

I don’t think the disco show The Groove Line is a good choice for Texas. Texans were more into the Outlaws (Willie, Waylon, etc.) and Southern Rock (Allman Bros., ZZ Top, Lynard Skynyrd, etc.) than into Disco in the 1970's-80’s. Nice show, but few will want to see it more than once.

The decor is really nothing special. No ‘Wow’ factor.

Aft Lido deck: Children are allowed in pool. On most other ships this area is considered an adult only area. On the Carnival Magic the kids have the wonderful Water Works area and the main pool to swim. Can the adults not have ONE place where they will not be run down or splashed by children? I know many ladies who do not appreciate getting their hair wet from children jumping in the pool. Even Disney Cruise Lines have an 'adult only' pool. Also there is a large smoking area aft and it's the only area with umbrellas. Many would like to enjoy the aft deck area but can not due to the smoke. There should be a place for smoking somewhere that doesn't exclude an entire area.

I think this ship is better enjoyed if you are with or part of a group. The folks I saw really having a good time were usually in a group. Especially in a venue like the Red Frog. One can really have FUN on this ship and I think a group or friends traveling together enhance the experience.

My Opinion:
I was very excited when it was announced that the Carnival Magic would home port in Galveston. I have to say that my overall impression is somewhat a disappointment. Not bad, just disappointed. The Magic is a great ship and I am excited about being able to sail on her; however, honestly I would really prefer a Conquest Class ship with Carnival 2.0 in Galveston over the new Carnival Magic. Just my feeling at this time. I'll sail the Magic again in March and re-evaluate.

All that being said, you can have a wonderful cruise on the Carnival Magic, but it does need improvement in many areas.
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Old June 7th, 2012, 02:02 PM
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Now you see, this is what concerns me about the next two newbuilds for Costa Crociere, dubbed "Super Costa", they are a pair of Dream class ships.

I openly admit to being a cookie-cutter big ship hater...give me a ship of a maximum 75000 tonnes and preferably under 2000 fellow sailors any day of the week and I am one very happy little cruiser.....

Having said that, my cruise next year is 30 days from Santos to Istanbul to Venice aboard what I class as a heffalump of a ship, Costa Fascinosa. Basically I want to try one of these big ships and spending 30 days on board will either confirm my hatred of them or it will change my mind....

I really wish the builders would come back down in size, so that the ships are more manageable...and not just for pax, but for crew too...from speaking to crew, the big ships are far from crew friendly for a variety of reasons...for example, the room service kitchen on the Conquest class is midships so perfect for access to all cabins and it allows that hot coffee to stay reasonably hot......then someone decided to make the Conquest class bigger, or at least carry more pax, so they shifted the room service kitchen to the stern, which causes all sorts of problems trying to get that hot coffee from the stern, 951ft forwards to a forward cabin and still keep it hot (this happens on the Concordia class all the time).

I have also found that entertainment (from reviews) tends to be lacking on the big ships..too many lounges with different music that clashes into an unholy noise in the atrium.

Food, service...it all seems to suffer...not enough crew....or just plain knackered crew from having to do constant 4 minute miles in 30 seconds...

I will find out for myself next year if the size of the ship really does reflect badly on everything within...I hope not, but with so many reviews like this one...I just feel that when the number crunchers decided to stretch, enlarge and otherwise cram in more pax into these ships, they forgot the fundamentals, the basics and maybe just a little common sense.
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Old June 7th, 2012, 04:56 PM
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I have been more and more negative opinions about cruises in the last couple of years.
I hope that the cruise industry gets it's act straight and goes back to do things the way they used to do.

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Old June 7th, 2012, 06:40 PM
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Carnival has now announced an increase in specialty restaurants to $35 which is same as other lines however they will have a ways to go to match them in service and food.
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Old June 7th, 2012, 09:09 PM
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We sailed the Magic for two weeks last month. We noticed many cutbacks, but also had a good time.

There were not many (or sometimes, any) bar waiters. Having to go to the bar for a drink is no big deal, but it's different.

We had Your Time Dining and were very lucky to have Alex and his team as our waiter's. We requested him every time we went to the dining room and were happy with his service and with the food.

It seems that a "bean counter" at Carnival decided that most people don't use the spoon that used to be included in the napkin roll for the grill and the buffet . Several times we had to get up and find a spoon at breakfast and lunch.

Speaking of breakfast, I loved being able to eat the buffet breakfast until noon! They did shut down all but one buffet line, but we still enjoyed what was available.

We went to the Red Frog Pub and were not impressed. It's just another bar, IMO. We tried to go to the Escape Bar which had been recommended as a nice, quiet bar, but it was never open when it was supposed to be.

We had a good Room Steward who did his job.

We don't go to the shows anymore, but there seemed to be a very big stream of people headed that way every night.

The "new" Room Service menu was not good .

JMHO,
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Old June 8th, 2012, 06:19 PM
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The real problem is not really Carnival, when you start crowding 4000-5000 people on a cruise ship you are bound to have long lines and or long wait time in the MDR. The staff having to deal with this many people day after day after day has to have a negative effect.
IMHO when most people are boarding a cruise ship they are as happy as can, big broad smiles and their only thought is how much fun and good times are ahead...what they dont see is that the staff of the ship though most smiling when you first board are probaly deep down exausted and really dont want to go back out on another 3,7,10 12,14 day cruise. Though most like cruising (why else would you take a job like that) they problay are thinking about when they can see their family.
I am not trying t5o make excuses for the wait staff...I mean you pay good money and you expect good service, most people dont get that much vacation time and they feel that the time is more valuable then money, so when your expectations are not met, and you feel like you wasted all your vacation time on a cruise that was sub par you feel like you were cheated and lost time you will never make up, which is in fact is what happened and when that does happen you feel devestated.
The only thing you can do to rectify the problem is send a letter to the cruise line and the next time possibly go on a smaller ship with a better ratio of staff to passengers.
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Old June 8th, 2012, 06:30 PM
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I agree - every cruise is a learning experience and if you encounter a cruise you don't care for there are plenty of other options.

Yes, and being honest working on a ship is a great job and most enjoy it, but you also can't help but think about a day off once in awhile.

And it isn't that it is so relentless as so many people think, because in reality the work is not that hard - it is not like you have to get a psyched up to giving a million dollar presentation. It is just cleaning a stateroom.

I think it is more about the crowding issue you just brought up. Too many people on one average size ship.

By the way as a crewmember ( iwas one ) you don't really notice the transition from cruise to cruise so much - you tend to think more in terms of "what day of the week is it" because different things are required on different days.

And I hate to say this but it is largely true - passengers (to crewpeople) come and go so fast after awhile their faces are just a blur. You really don't get to know many of them at all, unless one sticks out because they have a good sense of humor or something.
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Old June 9th, 2012, 10:47 AM
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I don't agree about you getting better service on a smaller ship. We cruised on the Freedom in March, and got very good service. MDR and from the room steward. And we just returned last week from a cruise on Sensation where our service was lousy. All in all we enjoyed both cruises. Staff was friendly. Cruise Director Brad was much more available on Freedom. We rarely saw We Jimmy or whatever his name was.
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Old June 9th, 2012, 11:21 AM
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I have no desire to go on one of these mega ship or let alone a ship with 3 or 4 thousnd people on it. And I hope this isnt the course the cruise industry is taking.But there is all ways a chose to spend a little more money to what what you desire.AS far as service goes We have no desire to mingle with the wait sfaff or the people that clean are cabin or the cruise director or any of the staff on the ship.Just your everyday pleasntrys are nice dont want to try and become there friends we like to be left alone so that part of the service is no big deal to us.
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Old June 9th, 2012, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dhill View Post
I have no desire to go on one of these mega ship or let alone a ship with 3 or 4 thousnd people on it. And I hope this isnt the course the cruise industry is taking.But there is all ways a chose to spend a little more money to what what you desire.AS far as service goes We have no desire to mingle with the wait sfaff or the people that clean are cabin or the cruise director or any of the staff on the ship.Just your everyday pleasntrys are nice dont want to try and become there friends we like to be left alone so that part of the service is no big deal to us.
I agree in regard to not booking a cruise due to a specific crewmember is aboard...afterall, they have a job to do and you're not the only passenger on the ship.

I have, however, stayed intouch with a few crew over the years and if by chance they happen to be on a ship that I am on, then we will have a drink and a chat during their off-duty time...but only if they have the time, I certainly would never impose myself on them as they have little enough time to themselves as it is.

My last cruise, which was last month, one of the international hosts was someone who I had got to know on the previous cruise a year or so ago, he saw me before I saw him and we had a hug and a chat, then he went off to do his work, I didn't know he would be on board when I booked...part way through the cruise I invited him to evening meal in the MDR along with a couple other of the international hosts, it was their night off and they were able to kick back and relax, and enjoy a nice meal as my guests.

I used to work in tourism, so I have more affinity and empathy with the crew than most passengers...I also have no hesitation in standing up for crew who are being bullied or disrespected by my fellow passengers...I have pinned a passenger up against a bulkhead before now for acting inappropriately towards crew (he reduced some of the MDR staff to tears)...I will not stand by an allow passengers to act that way, the crew cannot answer back but as a passenger, I can...and do.

Like I said though, I won't go out of my way to book a cruise for specific crew being on it, I have made alot of great friends from crew - Captains, ship's chaplains, bridge officers, room stewards, hosts, waitstaff - but I certainly would never interfere with their work nor would I demand their attention as if I was someone special as they have more than enough to do already without having a puppy following in their shadow all day long.
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Old June 9th, 2012, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
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I don't agree about you getting better service on a smaller ship. We cruised on the Freedom in March, and got very good service. MDR and from the room steward. And we just returned last week from a cruise on Sensation where our service was lousy. All in all we enjoyed both cruises. Staff was friendly. Cruise Director Brad was much more available on Freedom. We rarely saw We Jimmy or whatever his name was.
I was actually refering to the luxury lines where the size of the ships are half the size of anything Carnival or Royal Carribean has, and where the crew to passenger ration are much higher then on the mass market lines. Of course with the better service and better crew to passenger ratio comes the price. And much higher cruise fare for the upgraded service.

Some of the luxury ships are much less then half the size of the Sensation. Some are in the area of 16,000 tons as compared to the megas 70,000, 90,000, 120,000 thousand floating mega hotels.
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Old July 2nd, 2012, 09:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fern View Post
We sailed the Magic for two weeks last month. We noticed many cutbacks, but also had a good time.


The "new" Room Service menu was not good .

JMHO,

I am sorry if this is old news here, but do you mind telling me about the New Room Service menu? This is the first I've heard of it. Did they change what was on it. I haven't been on Carnival since last year.

Thanks
Harold
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Old July 2nd, 2012, 10:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkome View Post
I am sorry if this is old news here, but do you mind telling me about the New Room Service menu? This is the first I've heard of it. Did they change what was on it. I haven't been on Carnival since last year.

Thanks
Harold
The room service menu will be on one of the handouts with the Fun Times when you arrive in your cabin. It has fewer choices than in the past. I really really like that they have added a Reuben sandwich to it--same as what you used to get at the deli. That and the BLT are my two favorites. I'll take a photo of it later this month.
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Old July 2nd, 2012, 10:45 PM
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I can't say I didn't have a blast on the Magic but as Snooze said, I was with a group <crazies> AND it was BC5 bloggers so many friends were on board. I will say though, totally agree that the MDR staff cutbacks have gone too far imo. Started feeling this on the Miracle in December but really hit home on Magic, and that was in Ken's dining room with the cream of the crop staff. They were amazing!! I just don't enjoy seeing them so overloaded. I also have worked in the service industry and don't like to see CCL going that way.

That said, it's a beautiful ship to sail, I LOVE the promenade all the way around the outside. I loved the Dream when I expected to not like it due to its size. My favorite ship is the long-gone Flavia, followed by Fantasy class
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Old July 2nd, 2012, 10:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snoozeman View Post
The room service menu will be on one of the handouts with the Fun Times when you arrive in your cabin. It has fewer choices than in the past. I really really like that they have added a Reuben sandwich to it--same as what you used to get at the deli. That and the BLT are my two favorites. I'll take a photo of it later this month.
Gah, that too, they took away my roast beef and brie, ftlog Good thing I love love that reuben too
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Old July 3rd, 2012, 10:51 AM
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As with most things....what one person does not like....others truly do.

Beautiful ship, but too many changes.
Personally, I love the changes. I love the Ocean Plaza and the Red Frog Pub.

The menu was drab and food not as good as before.
I agree there have been changes, but I am not a foodie...so this has not affected me as much as it may others. I can always find something every night that I truly enjoy.

The entertainment was not good at all. Cheap and not the VEGAS style as before.
I do not go to the shows (I am always to busy in Karaoke...lol) So this does not affect me. I will say that I am WAY over yet another game of Trivia...HOWEVER there are those who adore trivia as much as I adore karaoke.


The Captains party was boring and you had to BUY your drink and others were $1 off.
This has been in place for several years. Sorry you were not aware of the change.



WE never saw the Cruise Director unless there was a scheduled event and she was only there for a few minutes. The Cruise Director has always been very accessible during the other cruises.
Not sure who your CD is. Some Cruise Directors like Jen Baxter are usually in the Piano Bar every night until it closes. So sometimes it is just a matter of knowing where they hang out.


YOU must buy the sea sickness pills at $3.49 for 4 pills. They used to be free. I can buy dramamine cheaper than that.
Again, this change has been awhile for years. We always bring our own from Walmart.


The Piano bar had a guitar player there for the first 4 nights. Then we were told the piano player was sick and would be back- again, poor entertainment.
This I can understand. People get sick. I do not consider this poor entertainment. I consider this "life".

There was a supposed "burlesque" show, that appeared to be thrown together, and not rehearsed.
I have never been to these, so I can not comment.


The comedians were fair. Only one, Mutsie, he was good and not foul mouthed. Funny and improvised with everyone.
Mutzie ROCKS!!!

The Just June was same ole, same ole. Using the F word too often. Sometimes is appropriate, sometimes, just worthless.
The cowboy - was fighting with a audience member and not performing a show. F this and F you is not a show.
Personally, this is not my idea of entertainment either....which is why we do not go to the Adult Shows.
Although we DID go to Mutzie's Adult Show because we know him and knew that he can truly entertain without all the foul language.


The worst part was wanting to complete the sky course- obstacle course as advertised. We got there at 5pm and they were closing. The times were not posted there, in small print in the FUN TIMES. VERy disappointing, The very last day at sea, we had waited to do this and they could not let us. There reasoning is they had been there from 9am and wanted to close at 5pm.
I am a little confused about this. Was it not available the first 6 days of the cruise? If so, then to be fair, you have to own a little of this because you were the ones who decided to wait to the last minute of the last day to try this.


Sorry you did not have a good cruise. Hope your next one ROCKS!!
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20 year old son ... DIAMOND (every ship starting with the Tropicale...he is the only DOUBLE Milestone under the age of 21)
24 year old son ... DIAMOND
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Old July 3rd, 2012, 10:55 AM
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The room service menu will be on one of the handouts with the Fun Times when you arrive in your cabin. It has fewer choices than in the past. I really really like that they have added a Reuben sandwich to it--same as what you used to get at the deli. That and the BLT are my two favorites. I'll take a photo of it later this month.

Thanks, I'd be looking for the book and probably miss it.

Glad they still have the BLT that is one of my favorites too.
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Old July 3rd, 2012, 09:25 PM
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Contrary to what some "groupie" who will,pick you onset actions apart, things at Carnival are headed downhill. They say one thing and do the other. Cutbacks are everywhere. I noticed much od the Same on my last cruise.
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Old July 8th, 2012, 12:41 PM
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On my recent cruise on the Dream in May the cutbacks were obvious. Everything from quality and selection of the food to the CHEAP entertainment. Carnival really has become the WAL-MART of the seas. I have sailed them for the last time. Had rather pay a little more and get a much better cruise experience with RCL,Celebrity,or Princess.
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Old July 8th, 2012, 03:17 PM
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We were the second sailing out of Galveston last year. I had some mixed feelings about the Magic myself. Maybe we will try her a second time soon to see if I still have the same opinion of her.
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Old July 10th, 2012, 11:19 AM
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Wife and I have cruised all 4 times on Carnival Conquest and we are laid back. Only complaints we had were on one cruise we had a couple at our dining table that COMPLAINED about everything...why are servers dancing? Why is it called NY strip steak? EVERYTHING !! We did not switch because we liked our servers so much. Our best cruise was when we missed 2 ports in 2010. Our son gets married on Magic on 8/19 and there will be alot of first time cruisers and i doubt they will not have fun because many are like us.
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Old July 10th, 2012, 11:23 AM
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On my recent cruise on the Dream in May the cutbacks were obvious. Everything from quality and selection of the food to the CHEAP entertainment. Carnival really has become the WAL-MART of the seas. I have sailed them for the last time. Had rather pay a little more and get a much better cruise experience with RCL,Celebrity,or Princess.
Know some that left carnival and cruised RCCL and hate it and vice versa. That is the beauty of cruising...SOOOOOO MANY LINES.
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Old July 10th, 2012, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Capndinghy View Post
Contrary to what some "groupie" who will,pick you onset actions apart, things at Carnival are headed downhill. They say one thing and do the other. Cutbacks are everywhere. I noticed much od the Same on my last cruise.
That is the beauty of cruising...SO MANY CRUISE LINES leaving from almost every city.Sooner or later you'll find the cruiseline for you.
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Old July 13th, 2012, 08:04 PM
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I cruised the Magic on BC5 and again July 1st-8th and still like the Conquest better. Not because of the food or overcrowding or any of that. I just think the staff was more fun. In March I thought they seemed reserved, I still felt the same way in July. Even though Galveston is only an hour away, we'll make the trip to NOLA in the future. The Magic is nice but we're just more impressed by the staff on the Conquest.

Does anyone know when the Conquest is scheduled for the upgrades btw?

As far as the remark about the cowboy comedy show, I happened to catch him on both cruises and saw both his shows the family friendly and over 18. He does throw the f word in the over 18 show but they do warn you and give you a chance to leave. I personally love him. If you aren't easily offended you would too. His name is Bill Martin btw. So many things about life have to do with personal opinion such as this, one likes him, one hates him, wished I would've saw that fight though oh well, just the redneck in me coming out, lol
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Old July 14th, 2012, 01:28 PM
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That is the beauty of cruising...SO MANY CRUISE LINES leaving from almost every city.Sooner or later you'll find the cruiseline for you.
I have 14 Carnival Cruises. Just because I say things are going downhill why do you suggest I go elsewhere?
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Old July 14th, 2012, 01:52 PM
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There are some things I love about the Carnival Magic, but some of the overall changes by Carnival (shorter port times, fewer dining staff, no adult pools, etc.) will certainly make me consider other cruise lines.

I've already booked all the new ships scheduled for Galveston so there will be fewer on CCL for sure. That's just a personal choice by me. People will have a wonderful cruise at a pretty fair value on the Carnival Magic, but unless friends are sailing I'm probably 'done' with her. Too many other good choices.
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Old July 14th, 2012, 02:39 PM
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I must say Ray, I agree with you. I just wasn't that impressed with the Magic on the TA. I do really enjoy the Conquest and Ecstasy. I do want to sample a Cove one of these days so will try it again.
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