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Brandon Pearson

Age: 37

Occupation:Industrial Hygienist

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Magic

Sailing Date: 2013-02-26

Itinerary: Western Caribbean

Overall the Carnival Magic has a lot of activities to keep you entertained while at sea. The food was good, there is a pizza stand that is open 24/7, although it does close for 20 minutes each day for cleaning. Dinner was sit down restaurant style, the food was good and they had good diverse menu with really good service. There was a Dive-In theater that played movies each night and they had free popcorn, and free rent a blanket. There was also a sports deck that included mini golf, running track, workout area, basketball, fuzz ball, and a pool table. Breakfast and lunch were served on the Lido deck (10th floor) and is buffet style.

There are 2 elegant nights, ours were the Monday night and Thursday night but you don't have to do elegant night. You can choice to have dinner on the Lido deck instead and pretty much the same food. Buy the Fun Book Shopping Guide, it is $20 and has a ton of free coupons and other great discounts if you plan to shop at any of the ports. You are allowed $800 of merchandise per person tax free, and 2 Liters of alcohol per person tax free.

Here are a few things that we did not care for or wished we had known a head of time: There were some activities that did cost extra: bingo, laser tag. If drink a lot of soda, the soda card is the way to go for you but you have purchase it within the first 2 days (while you are on the ship is cost $2.24 per can of soda), I would suggest brining the 12 cans of soda per person that Carnival allows you to bring onboard. The food on the Lido deck was o.k. there were time when the food was cold, and kind of bland. The dinner lines can get bad (really long) for Your Time Dinning. The process of disembarking in Jamaica seemed very unorganized, we waited a good 30 minutes and we had to get to excursion. IF you get a interior stateroom there is only one power outlet in the room, I would suggest bring a power strip. There are a lot of photos taken, all around the ship, every time you get off the ship, each night at dinner, but it $15 to purchase one of those photos.

Make sure that you bring cash with you when you go one the excursion trips because tips are not included and they are expected. There are some good deals and there are some over-priced things of the on the ship, like 15.99 for aloe when you get sunburned.

First Port: Montego Bay, Jamaica

We booked the Dunn's River Falls excursion. Pablo was our tour guide, and he did a great job. There was another gentleman (Richard I think was his name) that was our videographer, which you could purchase at the end for $40. Getting to Dunn's River Falls was interesting. It was a 2 lane highway down the coast line from Montego Bay to Ocho Rio (about 2 hours away). There was one stop at a shack of a store that charged $2.50 for soda and $4 Redline beer (Jamaican beer). Stop on the way back at same place for jerk chicken ($12.00 per plate). There was a very small selection of snacks to choice from. At Dunn's River Falls, bring water shoes, they say that you cannot wear tennis shoes but we saw several people that did anyways and they did fine. Of course you can rent water shoes for $7.00 or buy some new ones for $17.00. The hike through the water was really neat, a little intense at times and lots of picture taking opportunities. On the way back to Montego Bay there are 2 stops, one at the same little shop so that you can get jerk chicken, drink and go to the bathroom and then at a souvenir shop that was way overpriced, $24 dollars for tee shirts.

Second Port: Georgetown, Grand Cayman

We did not book an excursion for this port, we decided that we would just walk around and shop. There are a lot of really cool shops, some pricer than others but deal can found. My wife really like the Del Sol shop, which has the color changing shirts (they change color in the sun light) and they are $25 each. We also visited Margaritaville and had a delicious margarita.

Last Port: Cozumel, Mexico

This was the final port and booked the Fly High Adventure Zipline and Resort excursion. The Fly High Adventure Zipline was awesome, we had a great time. It was super fun, very safe and extremely caring and genuine guides that make you comfortable even if it yours first time. You go 2 rounds of 6 zip lines per round, it last about 2 hours including the safety brief and fitting of the equipment. The resort included a very small beach area, expensive food, 1 free drink per person 1 hour scuba dive equipment, with a view of cruise ships, oh and 1 free towel rental per person. The resort did have Wifi but you have to ask for log in at the front desk. After the resort we did a little shopping and ate at 3 Amigos.

Some really cool things about Cozumel:

1. Dos Equis is like Budweiser In America its everywhere.

2. After you get past the first round of shops, the second and third layer are the same products just cheaper.

3. There was a limited number of restaurants to eat at.

4. Most items in pesos (outside port stores) so know the conversion ratio.

5. There are a ton of tax and duty free alcohol and cigarettes, so if that your thing you will be in paradise.

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