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:
Red Frog Pub
Cucina del Capitano
A Kiss Goodnight
Piano Bar (open concept and non smoking)
Embarkation & Debarkation
Ocean Plaza concept
Desserts in Lido Marketplace
pico de gallo (surprisingly good)
Guest Services Desk
Behind the FUN tour
at breakfast in the MDR
Waffle Station for breakfast
Face recognition computer in photo area
Needs to Improve:
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.
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.
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.