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Marilyn Keys

Age: 60

Occupation:Marketing

Number of Cruises: 4

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Magic

Sailing Date: 2011-07-17

Itinerary: Mediterranean

The Carnival Magic is a beautiful ship overall. What we missed on this ship as compared to other ships we have sailed on is a lack of activities during the day. While it's true that many passengers were planning to go ashore to Rome, Florence, Sicily, etc., we wanted to spend one day on the ship to relax after a long flight from Houston to Barcelona. As we read over the daily newsletter, it was clear that very few activities would be offered during the day. Since this is a new ship (first sailing in May, 2011) perhaps the cruise director has not put together a plan as yet to offer any daytime activities.

We had an assigned table at Northern Lights and had great service there for all but one night when, without any explanation, we were told that our table was not available for that evening. The six of us ended up going to La Cucina for a fairly good meal. When we told the wait staff that we were turned away from Northern Lights the night before, they said they had no idea as to why this had happened because they anticipated that we would be coming to our usual table.

The food at Northern Lights was good. (We loved the chilled soups.) The buffet at the Lido was not as good other buffets we have experienced on other ships. There was simply not as much variety at the Lido. The specialty areas around the Lido: tandoori, burrito bar, mongolian wok were always too crowded to try. The only specialty area we managed to utilize was the burrito bar - and that was delicious.

Our cabins were on Deck 11, and going to the Lido (only thing open for lunch) meant that we had to go through the main pool area where sunbathers were lounging in a mass of suntan oil and tattoos. Not very appetizing.

Our stateroom was well designed with lots of storage space. Our room included a Spa package. We loved the Spa, and this was the highlight of our cruise for the six of us. Our stateroom was always kept immaculate by the cabin crew.

Entertainment offered at night was so-so. We went to a magic show in the main theatre and another smaller show with a puppeteer.

As mentioned, there were few, if any, planned activities offered during the day. We missed that aspect because we have enjoyed lectures and demonstrations on previous cruises with Princess and Norwegian.

Our group of six went on a variety of excursions. Not to be missed is Rome, but stay away from the long bus ride and opt for the private train that takes about half the time.

Also try and avoid boat rides because the waves can be choppy. An excursion to Capri had all passengers throwing up (including the tour guide).

Enjoyed the Spectacular Riviera excursion because of the beautiful coast of Monaco.

Also enjoyed the Wines of Tuscany because we sampled some local wines along with a variety of cured meats and cheeses.

For the most part, very enjoyable. Carnival is new to Europe, and it has some kinks to work out. We will be cruising either on Royal Caribbean or Celebrity on our next cruise.

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