2013 Carnival Magic Cruise Day 1
Sunday, November 3, 2013
Embarkation Day today! After several months of waiting for and talking about this cruise, we are finally here in Galveston, TX ready to board the Carnival Magic.
Our party has increased by one couple and now consists of seven couples. Some of us drove down from Dallas-Fort Worth to Houston yesterday, spent the night, and made the short drive to Galveston this morning while others left DFW early this morning. But we are all here.
Driving along Harborside Drive to the cruise terminal, we catch a sight of the Carnival Magic sitting majestically in the gleaming sun.
Cruisers boarding the Carnival Magic
I drop my wife and our luggage off at the terminal where porters work feverishly to handle rows and rows of cruisers’ bags, then proceed to park our car at the Galveston Park N Cruise Lot right across the street from the cruise terminal. Since I had reserved and paid for an indoor parking space on this lot, the whole parking process only takes a few minutes and after a short walk across Harborside Drive, I rejoin my wife and begin our embarkation process.
Inside the cruise terminal, we join a zigzagging line of cruisers to approach the security booth where they examine our passports and carry-on luggage then wave us through. We then proceed upstairs to the check-in counter where they make our Sail & Sign cards. Money from our credit card account will be loaded on our Sail & Sail cards so that it can be used while we are on the ship. At 1:00 PM, we are on the Lobby Deck (Deck 3) of the ship.
The elevators are packed
My first impression of the Magic is that the ship is spacious, spotlessly clean, and still looks very new as it is only two years old. However, I feel the lobby area and the decks above it are overly ornamented. Looking up and swirl myself around, I become dizzied with arrays of glass, chrome, lights and changing colors. Gaudiness is the word that comes to my mind but this place will be home for the next seven days and I will learn to like it.
The Magic is very new
One can become overwhelmed with mirrors, chrome, and colorful glasses
Our stateroom on Deck 7
We go to our cabin on Deck 7 and to our delight, it has been cleaned. Check-in luggage will be delivered shortly.
Our balcony cabin is on the port (left) side of the ship. The cabin is a typical cruise ship cabin which is small but efficiently arranged. It has a queen-size bed, a couch, make-up counter and plenty of closet space. The bed is high enough to allow for luggage to be stored under and thus save more space.
We have our first meal on the Magic at this restaurant: Cucina Del Capitano
It has a comfortable bed and seating area
We unpack, hang up our clothes, check out the small safe in the closet then go to lunch.
We have our very first meal on the ship at the Cucina Del Capitano Restaurant on Deck 11. One deck below, the buffet at Lido Marketplace is packed with cruisers.
We enjoy having a leisurely Italian lunch served by wait staff that is also excited at the prospect of meeting new customers from all over the place.
Cucina Del Capitano is a quiet and cozy Italian restaurant on Deck 11
Just before the ship picks up its anchor and head to sea, everyone is told to go to their muster station for a safety briefing.
After the briefing and as previously arranged, our entire group gets together on the rear of Deck 11 to watch the ship maneuvering out of the bay and we wave Galveston goodbye.
Lee is excited as the ship begins to leave Galveston Bay
While the Lido Marketplace buffet is packed with hungry cruisers
Youngest couple in the group, My and Anh, relaxing and waiting for the sunset
Janie, Anh and Lee on Deck 11
14 people in our group
As the sun begins to set, the crowd starts heading back to their rooms to get ready for dinner, we pull our chairs closer together and talk about our plans for the next few days, then go to our room and get ready for the 8:15 PM dinner.
Thanks to Ai Ho who has linked our booking numbers and reserved our dining time ahead of time, we get to sit together at one long table (table 805) in the Southern Lights Dining Room.
Magic's has two main dining areas: the Northern Lights Dining Room and the Southern Lights Dining Room. They are both two-story high and can be entered from the Lobby or Mezzanine. The dining rooms have different decors but have the same menus.
On this night, our menu consists of various types of soups, salads, and steak, seafood, and pasta. Our waiters do a very good job of taking orders and serving us our hot and tasty dinner of our choice.
We linger over coffee and desserts then call it a night.
I will tell you more about the various features of the Magic on future blogs
L-R: Anh, Kay, Steve, Ai, Tuan, An, Anna, Lee, Bo, Lieu, Wayne, Janie, and Tri.
Anh's husband, My, is behind the camera
The ladies in a windy afternoon
L-R: Lee, Janie, Anna, Kay, Ai, Lieu and Anh
L-R: An, Tri, Bo, Wayne, Steve, Tuan and My
We are so ready for dinner:
L-R: My and Anh, Wayne and Lieu, Janie, Lee and Bo