We were on the inaugural cruise of the Carnival Magic. Having previously taken only a Disney Mediterranean cruise in the past, we were apprehensive about switching to Carnival. We had heard varying things about the lower quality service, entertainment, staterooms, etc. Here is what we thought of the new ship.
Service- Our stateroom host was great. The room was cleaned twice daily, promptly and thoroughly. He was nice, greeted us whenever he could. I could really use him at home. The bar waiters were attentive, but not annoying or over the line. The bartenders were always nice and quick. We bought the coke package, and no one ever seemed inconvenienced at retrieving our multiple cokes. A couple even started pouring as they saw me walk up. The dining staff was good, not amazing, but just as good as we had experienced with Disney. The waiter forgot items for my tablemate a number of times, but our orders were always perfect.
Food- We enjoyed the food overall. Surprisingly, lunch was often the best meal of the day. The burrito bar was great. Burgers and hotdogs were so-so, but with all the toppings, including the makings for cheese fries, were an addictive treat. The pasta bar at Cucina was quick and decent, though not mindblowing. James had what he called the best jambalaya ever at the lunch buffet. The steakhouse was somewhat of a disappointment. On Disney, the cover charge is a service charge, but on Carnival, we were unsure as a bartender told us that tip wasn't included. Also, on Disney, you can order multiples of each course. Here, you are limited to one item per course, which is more than most would eat, but it would have still been nice to have a choice of multiple appetizers and maybe skip salad etc. Breakfast was the most crowded that the buffet got, but you could pretty much get the same thing at what is normally the burger bar with far less line. The main dining room food was hit or miss, mainly good. My favorite food on board was the BBQ they did on deck on sea days, cooking fresh sliders, quesadillas, steak tacos and sausages.
Entertainment- The staff was amazing and will be one of the main reasons I cruise with Carnival again. They called us by name and made us feel like we were special just for showing up to the various trivia contests. We found the trivia/activities to be fun and different. We especially enjoyed SuperTrivia, which is progressive. As for mainstage, the singers were good, but there was only one big show, which was a spectacle, but didn't really have a storyline. It was enjoyable and impressive. We disliked every comedian we saw onboard. Not sure why. One in particular was just more insulting than funny (pretending to be a southern hick in Europe.)
The Boat- We loved the boat. The waterslides, the adult area, the minigolf, all the musical venues, the Red Frog Pub. This might be our favorite boat for our purposes. We will see if any other ship can beat it. Of course, the Disney ship is far prettier and classier, but this one had what we wanted. Entirely enjoyable.
There are more details on my cruise blog/website Cruize Cast
if you are interested.