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Old April 10th, 2007, 11:09 PM
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Default Costa Magica review

Background Info: I am 16 years old, and I cruised with my mother from February 25- March 4, 2007. This was our first time on Costa, but not our first cruise. It was my 7th, and her 8th. We have sailed on HAL Maasdam, Zuiderdam, & Noordam; CCL Victory & Triumph; and X Zenith. We live in upstate New York, and only booked this cruise 18 days in advance.

Embarkation: We flew down to Fort Lauderdale on the day of the cruise. We were supposed to arrive by 11am, but due to flight complications, we didnt get to the cruise pier until about 3pm. (Good thing it didnt set sail intil 7pm!) The luggage porters took our bags as soon as we stepped out of the taxi, and then we were off to go through security and check in. The line was surprisingly long, but moved quickly. We passed through security smoothly, and then waited some more to check in. From there, we got on the ship. We were onboard the ship within an hour, and were surprised at not receiving our cards or having our photos for them taken! Since we arrived so late, we were able to go straight to our cabins and get settled in. Not having to carry around our suitcases was great!!

The Ship: The Magica was impecable. Everything was clean, she looked brand new. The layout is a little wonky, but you will get used to it. It was annoying not being able to walk from bow to stern on every deck, and we would always forget that. We loved the art work that is all over the ship, especially the panels in the stateroom hallways, and the large pictures in the stairwells. The lightbulb holders in the buffet area were very unique (arms and hands holding the lights).

Public Areas: There were 11 lounges and bars, and every night something exciting was happening. The Salento Grand Bar is the best, it is located right in the middle of deck 5, and is very open and has a nice dance floor. The Capri Lounge was great too, and the band that played in there was amazing. This is where kareoke took place. The Urbino theater is gorgeous...but make sure not to sit somplace where the poles would be blocking your view! The atrium is gorgeous...and the glass elevators are just too much fun (no matter how old you are!). The nightclub, Grado Disco, was tons of fun!! Popular music was played, and everyone was dancing and having a good time!

Activities: It would have been impossible to attend every single activity that was planned. Every day, there were dance and exercise classes by the midship pool. Also, many games like hula hoop competition, sexy legs, kens vs barbies, old macdonalds farm game, ect happened near this pool. Multiple trivia and quiz gatherings, as well as volleyball, ping pong, and basketball games occured daily. Even Italian lessons!! The activities staff was amazing, each one speaking at least 5 languages!! It is unbelievable how much energy they have, and we talked to some of them personally and they dont know how they do it! No matter how fun their jobs look, it is very socially demanding and hard; most of the time their smiles are false.

Pools: There were 2 main pools...both on deck 9, located aft and midship. There was a smaller pool located up on deck 10, next to the end of the waterslide. Also, a kiddie pool was up near the childrens room. The pool area is the most active, and where everyone is on sea days, and the line for the waterslide often went down the stairs! Watch out for little kids (in the deck 10 pool)...they had discovered that the plastic cups were great for throwing water at people. There were several hot tubs, all of which were wonderfuly hot and relaxing.

Service: Wonderful. The crew was amazing and very friendly (would say hi to us whenever they saw us, and remembered our names). I dont know how other people could say bad things about them!! They all spoke English very well (as it is a requirement for them if they come into contact with passengers), and were extremely accomodating to all the needs of the passengers.

Cabin: We were in cabin 7380, an inside on deck 7. It was the second one back from the aft elevators, and only 2 decks up to the buffet and 2 down to the casino and shops; no complaints at all about the location. There was plently of storage space for all of our belongings. There were 4 drawers in a dresser, 2 nightstands, and 4 closets (one with shelves). The bathroom was spacious, and there were 4 shelves above the sink (perfect size & location for beauty products). The shower was good, had a retractable clothes line going across which was handy, and a shampoo dispenser (smelled quite nice, but we always bring our own). There was one problem with the shower. It would overflow everytime i used it. The drain was very slow, and the ledge around the base was not high enough to contain all the water! There is a drain behind the toilet too, and a path around the perimeter of the floor for water to follow, so maybe this was supposed to happen?? I doubt it though. So dont leave your clothes on the floor! Another oddity about the cabin: the handles on the drawers and closets were leather-like, and hard to get ahold of, resulting in the opening of them veryyy difficult. We often left everything slightly open to avoid this issue. The lighting was great (fixtures were unique and modern), and there were plenty of mirrors everywhere. There was a minifridge, and a safe too. The artwork was cute, and the beds werent that bad. Maybe because we were so tired when we retired to sleep? It doesnt matter. (We were happy to be on a cruise ship in the Caribbean and NOT in the -10 weather in NY.) The sheets and towels were a little rough for our liking, but that didnt ruin our cruise or anything. (The pool towels that are left in your room for shore excursions are wonderful!!)

Food and Dining: Once again, I can not believe that people have complained about the food!!! It is delicious!!! We were disappointed at no sushi, but dont worry...they made up for it in their pasta dishes!! In the buffet, the food was great!! Always pizza, pasta, salad, a meat or 2 of some sort, fresh fruit, vegetables, all the regular cruise fare. The only area they lacked in was dessert. The selection was very limited, and always cold (pie is supposed to be warm!) The ice cream made up for it though, having self-serve machines located all around deck 9. There were specialty ice creams available at the bars, but we thought that it was rediculous to pay for ice cream on a cruise so we never got any. The food in the buffet is just about the same as in the dining rooms. We went to dinner the first couple of nights, but each night the service got slower and slower!! Originally, we were assigned the early seating, but we were able to easily change that to the late seating (allows much more time to get ready after being onshore all day). On the second formal night, instead of lobster, there was king crab legs. Personally, I prefered this!! It was delicious!!
Breakfast: offered in the dining room (Smeralda) from 7:30-9:30. We never went to this. A buffet was set up from 7:30-11am. The one by the back pool was always the least crowded, and had the same exact things as inside the Bellagio. There were pancakes, waffles, eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, bagels, hash, and fresh fruit available.
Lunch: offered in the dining room (Portofino) from 12-1:30pm. We also never went to this. The buffet was available from 12-2:30 in the Bellagio, and the grill was open from 11am-6pm.
Dinner: There is 2 different seatings in each restaurant.
Costa Smeralda: 5:45 & 8:30
Restaurant Portofino: 5:30 & 8:15

Also, a buffet is set up from 7:30-9:30 in the Bellagio, and a specialty restaurant from 6:30-9:30pm (never went to it). ONE OF OUR FAVORITES: from 9:30pm-1:30am, a pizzaria was set up in the Bellagio. We did not discover this until near the end of the cruise, and the pizza here is THE BEST. Each night there were about 5 different types of pizza offered, so Im sure you would be able to find something you liked. They would make you your own pizza, about a foot in diameter. Also, every night there was a midnight buffet, and the theme differed from night to night. Furthermore, there was tea time. One was in the Spoleto Lounge, Deck 5, from 3:45-4:45pm,where there was a WIDE variety of tea to choose from. The other was in the Bellagio and had mini sandwiches and desserts (4-5pm).


Childrens Program: I participated in the teen program (13-18 years old), and it was wonderful!! The two teen directors, Marco and Sabryna, were fabulous!! There were a couple activities scheduled daily, and they were tons of fun! The prizes were great too. I saw the littler kids around the ship sometimes, participating in themed dinners and treasure hunts, and they all had a smile on their faces (and often face paint too!!).

Entertainment: The one show I actually went to, Myth Trio in Circus of the Seas, was FANTASTIC. I actually went to both seatings. It was unbelieveable!! All of the other shows were basically the same as on every cruise...a special singer one night, a Broadway-type show, a magician, ect...

Theme Nights: Almost every night had its own theme. It was so much fun, this is part of the reason why Costa is amazing.
Italian Night: Supposed to wear red, white, or green. There were several stations all around deck 5, such as rose making, mask making, face painting, and dance classes.
Mediterannean Night: You were able to visit 4 different countries this night. France..and there was a Can Can show (hilarious!!!!), and Moulin Rouge-type singing. Greece...a fun dance..OMPA! Spain..dancing the Paso Doble. Egypt and Turkey....crazy belly dancing!! (also HILARIOUS). Also followed by a midnight buffet with food from each country in each section. DO NOT MISS THIS!!
Roman (Toga) Night: This is one thing Costa is known for. Everyone is supposed to get dressed up in a toga (and accessories!) and spend the night in it! This is the Guest Talent Show and Crew Show night too, and happened on the last night of the cruise. Maybe only about 50% of the pax actually wore a toga, but the ones who didnt missed out on all the fun!
Tropical Night: Tropical wear, with music by the calypso band and dancing by the pool! Dances such as the YMCA, and limbo. Tons of fun!!

Ports of Call: all of the ports we had been to already, so we knew what we wanted to do.
Cozumel: we went to Mr Sanchos for the day and just relaxed on the beach. It was $15 each way for a taxi. Then we went shopping around town, bought vanilla and liquor.
Grand Cayman: We walked to 7 mile beach. It is gorgeous there. Did not like having to wait for tender tickets in the Urbino Theater, and the tender ride was long.
Ocho Rios: We shopped and then went back to the ship.
Grand Turk: Took a taxi ($5/person/each way) to Cockburn Town. Walked along the beach, which was gorgeous and secluded!! and shopped around town. We found out that there are NO TAXES (land, school, ect..)at all, but it will cost you $22 for a roll of aluminum foil. (still only $1 for a beer though!)

Other Passengers: About 80% of the passengers were European. Being onboard this ship was like being in a foreign country. Most of the other pax were Italian and French. None of them were rude at all, they were all lovely to converse with (give that you can speak their language/interpret their English). A couple were pushy and cut in line, but hey, Americans do that too!!! Im sure you would find someone on any other cruise line who would cut infront of you (we found it on HAL!).

Debarkation: There was the option of early self-debarkation. We opted not to do this, since you would have to carry all your own luggage offboard, and 2 woman pack a lot!! They hand out colored tags, depending on your cabin and status, and you get assigned a time to get off the ship. They dont even check if you leave in the right time (we got off earlier than assigned). There was one discression with a passenger and his/her card, apparantly they tried to get off without paying for their onboard purchases. That did hold up the line, but was resolved quickly. After we got off the ship, was had to go through customs. There were 2 different lines, one for US passengers and one for Foreign. They both moved at about the same rate.


Overall, we had a wonderful experience and would cruise Costa again in a hearbeat!! We are trying to plan to go on the Fortuna this winter. (The Magica wont be sailing out of Fort Lauderdale. Too bad. This ship is amazing!)


Feel free to PM me with questions, or if you want to see daily programs, menus, or photos!!
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Booked Cruises
NCL Dawn 6/21/06 Bermuda

Past Cruises
10/30/08 X Constellation Caribbean
Costa Fortuna 3/08 Eastern Caribbean
Costa Magica 2/07 Western Caribbean
HAL Noordam 11/06 Eastern Caribbean
X Zenith 6/06 Bermuda
HAL Zuiderdam 5/05 Western Caribbean
HAL Maasdam 6/04 Canada/New England
CCL Triumph 12/03 Western Caribbean
CCL Victory 11/02 Eastern Caribbean

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Old April 12th, 2007, 07:35 PM
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Kristina:

Thanks for the GREAT review. You hit everything that I wanted to know and it sounds like you had a great, last minute, cruise.

I too want to try the Magica at some time.

Take care and thanks,
Mike
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Old April 13th, 2007, 02:16 PM
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hI KRISTINA
I must say, for your age..you pretty much get everyting on the nose...and do a great review.
thank you for all the detail.
It really helps...
hey...were there any ice cream /yogurt machines around (self serve?)
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Old April 13th, 2007, 02:55 PM
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Thank you. I know that when I read a review, I want to know absolutely everything about the ship.

As for ice cream machines around the ship, there are 2 located inside the Bellagio Buffet, 1 by the aft pool, and 2 in the midship pool area. There was chocolate, vanilla, and twist for flavors. Also, there were specialty ice creams available for purchase at the bar in the midship pool area. Each day had a special flavor on sale, such as Coppa Tropical, Coppa Dream, or Banana Split, for $3.50.
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Booked Cruises
NCL Dawn 6/21/06 Bermuda

Past Cruises
10/30/08 X Constellation Caribbean
Costa Fortuna 3/08 Eastern Caribbean
Costa Magica 2/07 Western Caribbean
HAL Noordam 11/06 Eastern Caribbean
X Zenith 6/06 Bermuda
HAL Zuiderdam 5/05 Western Caribbean
HAL Maasdam 6/04 Canada/New England
CCL Triumph 12/03 Western Caribbean
CCL Victory 11/02 Eastern Caribbean

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Old April 13th, 2007, 04:12 PM
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Default I enjoyed that review alot!!

Thank you for being so thorough..can you tell me what beverage was free in the dining rooms? Obviously not wine or soda but how about juice or capuccinos??

Thanks!
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Old April 13th, 2007, 04:28 PM
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Water was served in the dining rooms. You could also ask for iced tea, hot tea, coffee, milk, or hot chocolate.
You could also order cappucino or espresso, for $1.95 and $1.35, respectively.
Water and iced tea is available all day long in the buffet area.
During breakfast hours, you could get orange juice, and either grapefruit or guava juice (the first half of the cruise they served grapefruit, and guava the second).
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Booked Cruises
NCL Dawn 6/21/06 Bermuda

Past Cruises
10/30/08 X Constellation Caribbean
Costa Fortuna 3/08 Eastern Caribbean
Costa Magica 2/07 Western Caribbean
HAL Noordam 11/06 Eastern Caribbean
X Zenith 6/06 Bermuda
HAL Zuiderdam 5/05 Western Caribbean
HAL Maasdam 6/04 Canada/New England
CCL Triumph 12/03 Western Caribbean
CCL Victory 11/02 Eastern Caribbean

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Old April 16th, 2007, 05:44 PM
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you could make this into an article. that way more people can find it.
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Old April 16th, 2007, 06:37 PM
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Well if people are interested in Costa, they will most likely be on the Costa boards. And it is also posted CruiseCritic as a review...i guess i can submit it to this site to.
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Kris

Booked Cruises
NCL Dawn 6/21/06 Bermuda

Past Cruises
10/30/08 X Constellation Caribbean
Costa Fortuna 3/08 Eastern Caribbean
Costa Magica 2/07 Western Caribbean
HAL Noordam 11/06 Eastern Caribbean
X Zenith 6/06 Bermuda
HAL Zuiderdam 5/05 Western Caribbean
HAL Maasdam 6/04 Canada/New England
CCL Triumph 12/03 Western Caribbean
CCL Victory 11/02 Eastern Caribbean

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Old April 16th, 2007, 06:42 PM
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Kristina99, Thank you for such a well thought out review. We are sailing Costa for the first time on Magica next week and you have set my mind at ease about how it will be. Now I am really excited to get going!!!
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Old April 16th, 2007, 07:05 PM
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Not a problem. This cruise was a lot of fun. Everyone is always dancing, and there was always cool music being played out by the pool. I have a couple of videos on YouTube from this cruise of the shows and such.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=Ou9g2HueZA4
Belly Dancing from Mediterranean Night.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=fZXFEK0rojw
Part of the CanCan show...also on Med. Night.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=qQIvJ2wUzqU
Part of the Myth Trio Show. I highly reccommend that you go to this show, it was the best one of the whole cruise, and I had never seen anything like it on any of my cruises. Its very original.

c_m_alex is also going to be on your cruise.
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Kris

Booked Cruises
NCL Dawn 6/21/06 Bermuda

Past Cruises
10/30/08 X Constellation Caribbean
Costa Fortuna 3/08 Eastern Caribbean
Costa Magica 2/07 Western Caribbean
HAL Noordam 11/06 Eastern Caribbean
X Zenith 6/06 Bermuda
HAL Zuiderdam 5/05 Western Caribbean
HAL Maasdam 6/04 Canada/New England
CCL Triumph 12/03 Western Caribbean
CCL Victory 11/02 Eastern Caribbean

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Old April 17th, 2007, 09:29 AM
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Thanks for the You Tube site, I enjoyed watching all the different things on the Magica. I am also going to send this review to my friends who are also going with us. We all are new to Costa and you have really made it more fun already!
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Old May 12th, 2007, 11:51 PM
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Hello Kristina, I cruised the Magica on March 18 - 25th, 2007, on the Eastern Caribbean Itinerary, and agree that this is a very nice ship. I loved the soft brown panels with the V shaped gold stripes at the elevators and around the ship.

The one area I don't agree with you on is how friendly every crew member was and that they all spoke english very well. If you found that all spoke english very well, then it means that some of them just did not want to be bothered, and pretended to not know the language well. I had one crew member totally ignore me, and when I raised my voice, that got her attention,(yes, she heard me alright the first two times). However, those were just a minute few crew members whose attitudes need an adjustment, but our dining room waiters, cabin steward, and many others were very pleasant and helpful. Our Cabin Steward also showed us where things were in the cabin.

Food was very good, and Club Vicenza, the specialty Restaurant was great also.
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