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Carnival Magic 3/03/2013

"Friends Birthday Cruise"


Sail Date:03/03/2013
Destination:Caribbean - Western
Departed From:Galveston
# of Nights: 7 Nights
Cabin Type: Balcony
Sailed As: 


Overall Value:
Overall Rating: 



Western Caribbean Cruise, Carnival Magic, 3/03/2013

Montego Bay, Jamaica.. Grand Cayman…Cozumel, Mexico

Family and friends;

This was our second time aboard the Magic. The ship although only two years old is starting to show the rigors of 24/7/365 sailing and between 3500 and 4500 passengers per trip. The staff is steadily cleaning but there are areas that regardless of how well maintained will show wear. I am not one to have this point bother me as I will have a good time in a row boat.


We had purchased “Faster to the Fun” for this trip as we are Gold and not Platinum. This allowed, by description, for us to get to our room immediately after boarding, receive our luggage early, have priority dinning, priority tendering, and the priority line at the service desk as well as the priority phone line…For the most part all of this worked out well except for the luggage which I contribute to the dock porter’s lack of caring even though he was tipped well. Two pieces arrived at 2:30, 1 piece at 5 and one I had to retrieve at the service desk (my fault on this one) although we were some off the first at the dock and in our room by 11:30 AM.


Into the room, 5 stars.. Service desk, 5 stars .. priority tender 5 stars .. Dining room (DNA) .. Luggage 3 stars at best.

Room and room stewards:

We had an 8C balcony (#7310) which is a standard balcony room (185 sq ft). It had all the ammonites as described; the room was adequate enough and comfortable. The balcony overlooked the port side forward spa on deck 5 and did not afford the privacy as the same room on a Conquest Class ship as deck 5 extended beyond the balcony rooms. I would book this room again without second thought, just point out my observation.

The room stewards were some of the BEST we have had. Komang and Adi did their job very well as well as were very friendly and went beyond on any request we had for them.


Room, 4 stars, Room stewards 5 stars


First, I am not a foodie, actually very simple in my needs. This is only my observation as many have varied observations different from mine.

Buffet … this garners my biggest disappointment. The food in the buffet is for the most part bland. To me it is not bad but needs to be improved on. The temperature is not warm, the taste is bland, and the choices are meager.( I feel this applies fleet wide). I am also not a fan of the push and shove tactics of the passengers and the idea that it is feeding time at the zoo. Carnival also needs a coffee station on the pool deck for those that want only coffee early in the morning.

Main Dining Room (MDR)

The main dining room is only available early on port days (7 to 9) and on sea days it has what is called The Punchliner Brunch beginning at 9 until some where after noon. The food quality (to me) is better in the MDR. The port days offer the standard breakfast items as the Punchliner menu has a limited breakfast fare and several added lunch options as well as an added commercial for the Punchliner Comedy show at about 10 AM. I sugest getting there about 9 to 9:15 and you can eat and skip the commercial.

The evening meal in the MDR is really good. We had and exceptional wait staff consisting of “P” (can’t spell his name so he said to just call him “P”), Artha, and Dario. The food was of standard fair and presented well and prepared to our satisfaction except for a couple of items. The meatloaf was as it was in 2011, tasteless and rubbery. The Mac and cheese was vey bland according to a table mate, and I had a situation on how a steak was prepared but that was taken care of promptly.

4 Stars for port day breakfast, 3 ½ stars for Brunch and 4 ½ stars for dinner due mainly to staff.

The Cucina Del Capitano

This is the Italian restaurant located on deck 11 aft.

This dining experience is $12 per person at the evening mean and free for lunch (with a limited menu of course) … To us this was the most memorable dining on board. We did the lunch to begin with and then booked dinner due to the staff as well as the food.

5 stars

Prime Steak house;

This is another dining option for a fee (#35 per person) on board. We took in the Steak house on Tuesday night . The atmosphere was excellent but to me the food was subpar for the fee and atmosphere, but this is just the old simple Texas boy coming out. I ordered a Filet Mignon cooked medium and it was closer to medium rare to rare. It was tender enough with good flavor but was not cooked to my likening. I guess I’m not of fan of all the pomp and ceremony of fine dining.

3 ½ Stars (my opinion only)

Burrito Bar;

What can I say but OK, not bad, not great. (3 stars) I guess it’s really hard to create good Mexican or Mex-Tex food when there are no Spanish people or Texans in the menu department.


We only took in one show in the Showtime Theater and that was the first evening. The show was Groove Line and was an excellent production show of 70s and 80s music. I was told the Illusionist was also as good but I’m not a fan of illusionists or magic shows. (again JMO)

The optional entertainment on board mostly rated 4 stars in my book as what we heard in the atrium, Ocean Plaza and Red Frog was pretty good. Never made the piano bar so can’t comment. I also can comment on the Punchliner Club as we never made it that far but if was as good as previous trips I’d rate it as 4 stars.

Overall Assessment;

This cruise began as a birthday cruise for a friend of ours (James) and turned into a birthday and family cruise as my sister and others joined us. A total of eight and we had a ball. James’ wife Becky has some limited mobility so for extended activities she uses a wheelchair


Montego Bay… We all shopped the port shops and the small flea/straw market that was set up on the pier then returned to the ship for lunch.

Cayman Islands … I went with my sister and BIL to a stingray experience then did a bit of shopping and back to the ship for lunch and a rest. James and Becky did a small bit of shopping at Margaritaville.

Cozumel … This is usually a highlight shopping event with lunch. We did most of our shopping here and had a very good lunch with a Margarita at Pancho’s Backyard. This I high recommend to anyone that goes to Cozumel. Pancho’s is located both downtown as well as Puera Maya.


With us doing the "Faster to the Fun" and doing self-assist we were the first off. We gathered at the MDR with the Platinum and Diamond guests at 6:45 and was off, thru customs and in the car by 7:30. (4.5 stars).

So here goes the ratings

Dining 3.5 to a 4

Public Rooms 4

Cabins 4

Entertainment 3.5

Shore Excursions 3.0

Embarkation 4.0

Service 5

Value-for-Money 5

Thanks for a wonderful time.

Jim and Kathy

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Nice review. Just a thought, but do you think that the buffet food is prepared so that people can salt or season their food as they like. I've learned that sometimes in a setting like that, the food is bland because so many people have different tastes, and also for health reasons. Just a thought! Overall your review was wonderful and I loved the ratings.

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