Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Carnival Magic May 2017

Last week we cruised on the Carnival Magic out of Port Canaveral. We drove down on Friday and stayed at the America’s Best Value Inn ($121 which includes parking our car and the shuttle to and from the ship). The shuttle picked us up at 9am and got us to the port by 10:15.

Our Captain was Antonio Marchetti, Hotel Director was Carlos Santos de Melo and the Cruise Director was Eversen Bevelle. We were in cabin 9204 and Dyanna and Earl were in cabin 2202. Our cabin steward was Suarzo. Our dining room table was 590 and our servers were Efraim, Zeno, and Ni. The internet cost me $136 for the week with unlimited wifi.

Embarkation 5/13/17:

It was so organized and smooth to get on the ship. At 10am, we went through security and then they checked us in right away. We boarded the ship around 11am. Our cabin was ready so we dropped stuff off and went straight to the Lido deck for lunch. We got in line at the Mongolian Grill since the line was short. After Dyanna and Earl finished lunch, we brought their stuff to our room. Then we had a bucket of beer ($27) before the muster drill. Our drill was in the showroom and was quick and easy. After that, we went and had another bucket of beer but it was so noisy, we left. We went back towards our room and found one suitcase at someone else’s door. Then we met our cabin steward and told him to look for the other suitcase. After unpacking Don’s suitcase, we walked around the ship and had one more bucket of beer. Dyanna texted me that our other suitcase was at our room so we went back and unpacked. Then we went and had a snack on the Lido deck before going back to the room and taking a nap. At 8:15 we had dinner and then went to bed.

Sea Day 5/14/17:

We had a wonderful sea day brunch where I had my steak and eggs. After that, we walked on the track for an hour before I went to the slot pull. The slot pull took about 3 hours! At first it was limited to about 60 people but she ended up opening it up to 94 people at $21 each. Then they had to go to guest services to put $1974 on her card and then back to put the money in the machine. The machine would only hold $1000 at a time. When it was all over, we all split the credits which was $16 each. After that we went to the pasta bar for lunch and then rested until it was time to get ready for the Captain’s cocktail party. I loved showing the captain a picture we took with him on the Dream in 2012. We also met DiMa, the housekeeping manager and Monica, the HR director.  After that we had more cocktails and listened to music until dinner. For dinner we had prime rib and lobster tails. At 10:15 we went to the show, Country Roads. Near the end, the dancers went around and grabbed people to dance in the aisles and one got us to do this!

Grand Turk 5/15/17:

We got off the ship at 8am and was in our beach chairs by 8:15. Even though it was overcast, we had a great time in the water. We noticed more colorful fish in the water than the previous times we were here snorkeling. We came back to the ship around 11am and after cleaning up, we had lunch. Then we sat out on the deck and relaxed before taking a nap in our cabin. At 5pm, I went to a Cruise Critic meet and mingle which was nice.

San Juan 5/16/17:

In the morning, we left a bag of laundry for our cabin steward. We got off the ship around 1:30 and walked to Castillo San Cristóbal and showed the kids the dungeon. Then we walked to the other fort but the kids were hot and tired so we didn’t go there. We walked around town and stopped at a place for mallorcas (which were like cheese sandwiches) and very good. We ended up walking about 7 miles but the kids were hot, tired, and cranky but we weren’t. We laughed that they needed a nap! We sat on the deck and relaxed until dinner time. The dining room crew sent us a bottle of wine which was really nice.

St. Kitts 5/17/17:

We got off the ship around 10:30 and walked around town. Don found the artist who turns her prints into postcards. He buys some from her every time we come to this island. We bought some beer to rehydrate because it was cheaper than soda. Soda was $2 each and the Carib beer was 3 for $5 so we bought the beer. We went back to the ship for lunch and relaxed on the deck until dinner. We brought our bottle of wine to dinner and shared it.

St. Maarten 5/18/17

We got off the ship around 8am and took the water taxi to the beach. We got our chairs in front of Caribbean Blend by 8:30am (2 chairs and umbrella for $15). At 9:30, we went up and said hi to Sue. Then we spent the day playing at the beach and drinking beer ($10 for a bucket of 5 Coronas). My friend, Suzette from Caribbean Blend gave me a dress as a present! About 3pm, we headed back to the ship. Even though we all put on sunscreen, we all got burned! We ate a sandwich from the deli and then took a nap until dinner. Don was freezing but I think he got dehydrated.

Sea Day 5/19/17:

We went to the sea day brunch where I got my steak and eggs for breakfast and then we got a bloody mary. We also left a bag of laundry for our cabin steward. Then my daughter and I met up with a group to learn how to make guitar string charm bracelets which was a lot of fun. After that we sat around the pool and read before going to a late lunch. Since it was formal night, the kids decided to skip dinner in the dining room and go to the outdoor movie theater around the pool to see the movies: Arrival and Hidden Figures. We went to the Alchemy Bar for pre-dinner cocktails and then had dinner in the dining room. After dinner, we went to see the show Flick which was pretty good.

Sea Day 5/20/17:

After our sea day brunch, we went to look for a chair by the pool to relax and read. We had a late lunch again and then relaxed until the “Platinum and Diamond Levels” party which was nice. As a diamond level guest, we had to go on stage in the show theater and stand with the other diamond members. All day long I had people say hi and that they saw us on the stage. After the party, we went back to the room and started watching Return of the Titans (with Denzel Washington) which we have seen before. Then we went to dinner. Since they hadn’t delivered our liquor before dinner, we had to go back to the room to finish packing. Because of this, it was too late for us to go to the show. Then we had to put our suitcases in the hallway before 11pm.

Debarkation 5/21/17:

We had breakfast on the Lido deck at 5:45 and then met near the shore excursion desk at 7:15. Around 7:40, they called us to get off the ship. We found our luggage and went through customs which was quick and painless. I was surprised that we no longer need to fill out custom forms unless we are over the limits. There was chaos at the shuttle desk but we finally got on the shuttle around 8:10 and headed back to our motel where our cars were. When we left there, we headed south to visit my parents for a couple of days.

Things I Learned:
1.     For the price, I would stay at America’s Best Value again.
2.     The slot pull was fun but I probably won’t do it again if there are more than 50 people involved.
3.     We need 2 bottles of water in San Juan.
4.     We need 2 bottles of water in St. Maarten
5.     The internet was well worth the money. People had trouble with the $5 chat.
6.     I enjoyed making the bracelets and want to try making more jewelry.
7.     I really enjoyed being a part of the Facebook group.

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