Carnival Magic, Trip report & Photos
Carnival Magic -- Western Caribbean Cruise

 

Our First Cruise!

Oct 26 - Nov 2, 2014

Day 1, Sunday: Fly to Houston on Southwest early in the am. Take the Carnival shuttle bus to the port of Galveston, Texas. Check-in and board by noon! Bags delivered to room before dinner. Sailaway Party at the pool was fun. We spent the next few hours exploring the ship, getting a feel for how things operated, then off to dinner.

The SAILAWAY PARTY


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Day 2, Monday:

FUN DAY at Sea


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Day 3, Tuesday:

Port of Call - Cozumel, Mexico

We hopped in a taxi and headed to Money Bar. The weather forecast said 90% chance of rain and the skies were cloudy. We arrived, took a seat in the restaurant and ordered a soda and a beer. Not long afterwards, the sky opened up and it POURED rain. The rain continued for about and hour so we ordered a large platter of chicken nachos. Food was delicious. Then the sun came out! We moved out to the chairs by the shore snorkeling entrance. Ron donned his snorkel gear and got in. Several other people had also arrived, gear in hand, as well as several snorkeling boats. What a gorgeous day!

After a few hours, we grabbed a taxi back to Puerta Maya where our ship was docked. There are dozens of shops and bars and snacks and about anything you want to find there. We stopped in several shops but ended up at Fat Tuesdays for drinks.


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Day 4, Wednesday:

Port of Call - Belize

We had originally scheduled a shore excursion to Xunantunich Mayan ruins. Unfortunately, a tropical storm had been blowing through all of Central America for the past week so rain rain rain caused flooding on the Belize mainland. Our tour was canceled as the ruins were unreachable. We scrambled to find another tour and opted for a snorkeling tour. We chose the Gallows Point Snorkel trip which would pick us up at our ship and return us there after 3 hours. The tour included a free open bar after the snorkeling with rum punch and sodas. It was raining when the boat came, but they told us the clouds looked like they might break for awhile by the time we arrived at the reef. Sure enough, the rain held off for most of our time at the snorkeling sight. Guides were in the water leading everyone on a tour as well as 2 safety persons on kayaks. We found the tour to be very well run and the guides very safety conscious.

While we were there, two other snorkeling boats showed up. There must have been over a hundred people in the water, but because the reef is so big, it was never a problem.

MY VIDEO: Snorkeling Gallows Point BELIZE


After snorkeling, everyone back on the boat, the party began as we sailed back to the Magic. We arrived back around noon, boarded the Magic and returned to our rooms to shower and change clothes. We then returned back down to Deck 0 to catch a tender into port. The rain came down.... hard. We arrived starving (should have eaten lunch on the ship before we left as by the time we hit the dock it was nearly 1pm. Only a few places serve food there and all were packed as people were getting out of the rain. We finally found a place but discovered they were "out" of most of the menu items. We ordered what we could and ate, though it wasn't really all that good. Ron got the grilled chicken which had nice flavor but my burger was downright weird tasting. Well, at least it was food. We shopped for an hour then got in line for the next tender. It was again pouring hard, so we were all drenched. Not a great port stop. I am sure weather was a big factor, but this area was just not what we expected.


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Day 5, Thursday:

Port of Call - Roatan, Honduras

We booked an excursion through Carnival again, this time for the Maya Key Private Island getaway with lunch. We met our tour rep in Mahogany Bay shopping area where all the tours meet up. There were dozens of tour reps there all holding up signs naming the excursion. Our rep told us that we would meet back there at 9:30am so we had 30 minutes to walk around a bit in the shopping area and scope out purchases to make after our tour. Once the appt time arrived, the guide led us down the path about 1/4 mile to an awaiting boat. We boarded and were off heading north for 10 minutes. Maya Key is owned by Anthony's Key Resort which is on the other side of the island. Two days per week they allow cruise ship passengers to use the island. It is a nice island with a beach, a snorkeling area off a long pier, a small zoo of rescued animals including two HUGE jaguars, lots of monkeys and birds. They also have a huge pen area containing nurse sharks and another area with sea lions. For extra charge, you can snorkel with the nurse sharks or feed the sea lions. Everything else on the island is included in the excursion price. Lunch was served buffet style but with only one visit through the line. Actually, the food was very, very good and there was plenty of it. Iced tea and lemonaide were free and unlimited. Adult beverages and sodas were available for sale.

We headed straight for the beach chairs and to the snorkeling. Many people paid for the snorkeling gear as part of their package but we did not, bringing our own. Employees sat at the end of the pier to help those new to snorkeling as well as just in case someone needed rescuing. The reef was right there at the pier and continued off in all directions. It was lush, much more lush than the shore diving in Cozumel, and went deeper than the reef snorkeling we did in Belize. Everyone who got out of the water said it was the prettiest reef they have ever snorkeled.

We left the island at 1:30pm and returned to Mahogany Bay to walk around and shop. First we walked over the bridge to the beach area, had a drink at one of the bars, then walked back to shop. The free beach area was nice and there seemed to be lots of people there, despite the fact it looked like it had rained while we were gone.


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Day 6, Friday: HALLOWEEN!!!

FUN DAY at Sea


Halloween on the MAGIC was a blast! Events were happening onboard all day, from a pumpkin carving contest by the pool, to the kids trick-or-treat parties and scavanger hunt. The entire ship was decorated, also. Many people had decorated their doors. It was fun to just walk around the ship exploring every nook and cranny.

After dinner, the adults all appeared in the Main Lobby in costume for the big PARTY! For over an hour, hundreds of people appeared. No kidding, I have never seen so many people in costume! Everyone had cameras out, as well as video cameras (like me). James, our Cruise Director, and his staff all showed up and picked out finalists for the contest to be held at 10pm in the main stage. Music played, everyone dance, it was a blast!

At 9:45pm we all moved towards the theatre and took seats. The show opened with James and crew, along with other Magic crew members performing THRILLER for us. James was of course Micheal Jackson. After that, the contestants each took the stage with audience applause picking the finalists in each group. In the end, the two crowd favorites were Cheech & Chong and Edward Scissorhands. James decided that it was his first tie ever and I have to agree. Both were fabulous and were in character on stage getting the crowd going. No way anyone could pick better.



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Day 7, Saturday:

FUN DAY at Sea

The ship entered the Gulf of Mexico on the way back to Galveston and rough seas. The boat swayed noticeably, especially on the upper decks. People bounced back and forth when walking down aisles, especially on the Lido deck in the food court. No biggie for us, but you could tell some people were a bit under the weather from the rocking. The Captain made an announcement that the seas were rough with 9' swells, we thought it seemed more like 15-20' swells in the afternoon.


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Day 8, Sunday:

Return to Galveston

We arrrived an hour early to port as Daylight Savings Time had ended that morning. It was a sad day! Debarkation went very smoothly, lines were long but moved at a steady pace. We had used the baggage service to remove our 3 bags and found them immediately, no problem at all. Went though security and off we went to our waiting bus back to Hobby airport. We arrived at the airport with almost 2 hours to kill, so we sat and ate an early lunch. Then off we went for our direct flight home to Albuquerque.
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NOTES: COMING SOON!!!!