Carnival Magic: 7-night Western Caribbean Cruise

Saturday, December 3 - Saturday, December 10, 2016

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Day 2: Day At Sea

Unbelievably Slow Guest Services Employee

We slept in and woke up around 10:00 a.m. My head was hurting bad. I had taken something the night before to alleviate my headache, but it wasn’t helping. We decided to go to the Seaday Brunch, where I would take more medicine for my headache with food. As I was finishing getting ready, my husband said he would go up to Guest Services to take care of the fragrance in the room problem. I was almost finished getting ready, I would be done in about 10 minutes at the most, and we figured by the time I was done, he would be getting back. Haha! What a joke! He was gone about an hour and a half! Why? Because the Guest Services woman who helped him doesn’t know how to type! Yes, that’s right, she works in Guest Services, a job that constantly requires typing, and the woman doesn’t know how to type! How she got that job is beyond me, maybe she lied on her application and said she knows how to type, maybe CCL doesn’t require their Guest Service employees to know how to type, I don’t know, but she types with two fingers and really slowly. Oh, but that’s not all! She didn’t know how to properly use a computer! Yes, it was 2016, and she didn’t know how to go back and correct her mistakes properly. After two finger typing very slowly, my husband said she would see a mistake, and guess how she corrected her mistakes - she would repeatedly hit the delete key over and over and over again until she got to the mistake, then she would slowly two finger type the rest of it all over again. And what’s worse is that she kept making mistakes, so she kept doing that process over and over. So what should have taken maybe two to five minutes tops, took her about an hour and a half.

 

Photo of the Southern Lights Restaurant during Seaday Brunch on Carnival Magic.

Seaday Brunch - Carnival Magic - Southern Lights Restaurant, 3 Aft

Photo of a yummy soufflé like bread at Seaday Brunch on Carnival Magic.

Seaday Brunch - Carnival Magic - Delicous soufflé type bread

Day One Seaday Brunch

By the time my husband got back to the room, we were both starving. We headed straight for the Seaday Brunch, which was in the Southern Lights Restaurant, 3 Aft from 8:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. I had read good reviews about the Seaday Brunch, and we felt it lived up to the good reviews.

To start, they give you an absolutely delicious bread thing. You can see it in the photo, but you can’t tell from the photo how fantastic it tastes. The texture is perfect too. It’s sort of like a soufflé and a bread mixed together. It’s accompanied with whipped butter, which goes great with it, but it’s so perfect on its own that it’s in no need of butter. I don’t know what that thing was, but we both thoroughly enjoyed it. And that’s not just because we were hungry. Even after we had finished our meals, we ate more of that bread because it was so delicious.

Click here for the Seaday Brunch Menu.

For starters, I ordered the Flamin’ Tomatoes Soup. It had a slightly smokey flavor, and it wasn’t too sweet, which is a good thing in my opinion. It came with toasted croutons, which were too big for me too eat, but they tasted good, and there was some sort of cheese in it that went well with it. My husband ordered Caesar Salad, which he said was OK, but he felt the dressing could have been better. My husband and I are big fans of Caesar salad, and we’ve had some really good ones, so we’re picky about it. (Our favorite Caesar salad is at a restaurant in Savannah, GA called River House, and our second favorite is my husband’s recipe.)

Photo of the Flamin' Tomatoes Soup at the Seaday Brunch on Carnival Magic.

Flamin’ Tomatoes Soup - Seaday Brunch - Carnival Magic (Yum - it's smokey and tomatoey)

Photo of the Caesar Salad at the Seaday Brunch on Carnival Magic.

Ceasar Salad - Seaday Brunch - Carnival Magic

Photo of Steak-n-eggs filet mignon with eggs at the Seaday Brunch on Carnival Magic.

Steak-n-eggs - Seaday Brunch - Carnival Magic

For entrees, we both ordered the Steak-n-eggs. The steak was filet mignon, which is my favorite type of steak. We both ordered ours medium-rare, and they were both cooked properly. We ordered our eggs over easy, and they came out firm, without any runnyness at all. We told our server that the eggs were over-cooked. My husband explained what over-easy means, that it should be runny. After waiting for a very long time, he returned with eggs that were exactly like the first ones, firm with no runnyness at all. That’s fine because the steak was really filling. It came with bernaise sauce, and we both really enjoyed it. It also came with toast that looks toasted, but it’s cold and not at all toasty. And it comes with curly fries that are slightly seasoned sort of like Arby’s curly fries; the fries were great dipped in the bernaise sauce.

I also ordered the Cheddar Grits, but they were the worst cheese grits I’ve ever had. Well, I’ve only had cheese grits twice, but the two different cheese grits I previously had were very good, these were just bland and runny with cheese on top.

We decided to not order dessert, because we knew we wanted to try Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse, and we could get dessert at Sweet Spot on the Lido Deck later.

Photo of the Cheddar Grits at the Seaday Brunch on Carnival Magic.

Cheddar Grits - Seaday Brunch - Carnival Magic

Photo of the seasoned fries at the Seaday Brunch on Carnival Magic.

Yummy fries! - Seaday Brunch - Carnival Magic

Sea Day Lunch After Brunch: Tandoor

After walking around a short while, we went to Tandoor, which is located at the rear of the Lido buffet area, just outside the doors. Although it’s outside, it’s in a covered area, and we always found seating there. From the Tandoor area, you can see the Aft pool, which has a spa on each side of the pool. There is also a bar out there, as well as Pizzeria del Capitano, which I’ll talk more about later.

Photo of the Tandoor menu on Carnival Magic.

Tandoor Day Two Menu - Carnival Magic

Photo of cold food items and condiments in serving bowls at Tandoor on Carnival Magic.

Tandoor Cold Food and Condiments Section - Carnival Magic

Photo of cold food items and condiments in serving bowls at Tandoor on Carnival Magic.

Tandoor Cold Food and Condiments Section - Carnival Magic

Photo of hot food items in trays at Tandoor on Carnival Magic.

Tandoor Hot Food Section - Carnival Magic

Photo of hot food items in trays at Tandoor on Carnival Magic.

Tandoor Hot Food Section - Carnival Magic

Tandoor was a real hit with us. Everything was hot and tasted so good. It’s an Indian buffet that offers hot and cold Indian food items, with the traditional accompaniments, such as raita, as well as fresh naan cooked in a traditional clay oven. My husband and I eat Indian food regularly, and Tandoor tasted authentic and super yummy. We didn’t try anything that wasn’t good. We often saw Indian people enjoying food from Tandoor, and I think that says something about the quality of the food there. Each day they have new items being offered, so it never gets boring. On the first day we went there, which was Day 2, for the hot items they were offering Beef Kebab; Fish Kebab; Chicken n’ Chilli; Potato n’ Peas Kebab; Peas n’ Cheese; Steamed Rice; Rice n’ Chicken; Gram Four Flat Bread.

One thing I think they should definitely change is that the plain basmati rice is near the end of the hot food area, which makes no sense because people like to put some of the items on top of the rice, and if there’s a line, you have to go in front of people to get the rice, then go back in the line to get the other items to put on top of the rice. I hope they change that one thing about Tandoor, but that’s the only thing I think they need to change about it because it really is that good. And be warned, it’s authentically spicy, which I like, but it might be too spicy for some people. It’s not insanely spicy, but it isn’t a mild spicy either - I would say it’s maybe a medium spicy.

Photo of Cucina Del Capitano during The Captain's Pasta Bar lunch on Carnival Magic.

Cucina del Capitano during The Captain's Pasta Bar at lunchtime - Carnival Magic

The Captain’s Pasta Bar At Cucina del Capitano

From Tandoor, we went to The Captain’s Pasta Bar at Cucina del Capitano. This restaurant has a $15 surcharge per person for dinner, but the lunch is free. There is a stair case in the Lido Buffet area near Sweet Spot that leads up to this restaurant. I’m pretty sure there is also an elevator that leads to it. You are handed a piece of paper and a pencil, and you check all the things you want in your pasta. They also have Caesar Salad, Bread, and Meat Lasagna as options. I’ll talk about the Meat Lasagna later, but for now I’ll tell you what my husband ordered - Linguini with White Clam Sauce. You can choose to have your food to go, and you wait in the waiting area and they bring your order to you in plastic bowls, or you can choose to dine in the restaurant, which is quiet and not crowded. We decided to dine in.

Photo of The Capatain's Pasta Bar menu card at Cucina del Capitanao on Carnival Magic.

The Captain's Pasta Bar Menu - Cucina del Capitano Carnival Magic

Photo of Linquine with White Clam Sauce from the Captain's Pasta Bar at Cucina del Capitano on Carnival Magic.

Linguine with White Clam Sauce - The Captain's Pasta Bar - Cucina del Capitano - Carnival Magic - The best part of the dish is that they add real clams

Photo of the Cucina del Capitano dinner menu on Carnival Magic.

Cucina del Capitano Dinner Menu - Carnival Magic

When his pasta arrived, my husband was surprised to see parmesan cheese on top of his pasta. He’s ordered linguine with white clam sauce at countless restaurants, and having cheese on it was a first for him. He didn’t like how it looked for the photo, so he stirred everything together for the photo. He liked the clams, but he said the dish was way too salty. That might be from the parmesan cheese, but it was too salty to eat. He tried to eat more of it, but he just couldn’t handle the saltiness. He photographed the dinner menu for Cucina del Capitano while we waited for his food, so if you zoom in on the photo above, you can see the choices.

Photo of The Sweet Spot lunch menu at the Lido Restaurant on Carnival Magic.

Sweet Spot Lunch Menu Day Two - Lido Buffet Restaurant - Carnival Magic

Sweet Spot Day 2 Lunchtime

We took note of the lunch dessert options at Sweet Spot, which is located near the staircase leading to Cucina del Capitano. For lunch that day they had Almond and Cherries Napolean, and those were really good. I love classic napoleon pastries, and I was very skeptical about these. They not only had a great flavor, but they were fresh, you could tell because the pastry was flaky as it should be. They also had Apricot and Ginger Choc Cake; Key Lime Pie; Pumpkin Cream Cake; Strawberry Marble Crunchy Mousse; Diet Apple Tart; Raspberry Jello; Apple Jello; freshly sliced fruit; and assorted cookies. There are always assorted cookies and freshly sliced fruit at The Sweet Spot when it’s open for lunch and dinner.

Photo of serving plates with various desserts at the Sweet Spot on Carnival Magic.

Sweet Spot - Lido Restaurant Buffet - Carnival Magic

Photo of Jello and other desserts at The Sweet Spot on Carnival Magic.

Sweet Spot - Lido Restaurant Buffet - Carnival Magic

Photo of Almond and Cherries Napolean from The Sweet Spot on Carnival Magic.

(Very good) Almond and Cherries Napolean from Sweet Spot during Lunch Day Two - Lido Buffet Restaurant - Carnival Magic

Photo of people getting food from Guy's Pig & Anchor Bar-b-que on Carnival Magic.

Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse on Deck 5, Promenade Deck - Carnival Magic

Pig & Anchor Smokehouse

How we had room in our bellies for Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse is baffling to me, but we had some room left, so we headed to Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse on deck 5, Promenade Deck. Pig & Anchor is only open on sea days from noon until 2:30 p.m., so if you want to try it, you have a limited time to try it. By the time we got there it was about 1:50, and the lines were very short, we had practically no wait.

My husband got one plate for us to share, and he told them to put a little of everything on the plate for us to try. Our plate was heaping with food, as you can see in the photo below. They have squeeze bottles with different sauces you can put on your food.

Between the two of us, we tried everything on our plate. The best thing was the pulled pork, I especially liked it, but it’s not the best pulled pork I’ve ever had - it was a little too fatty for me, but it had a good flavor. We both liked the cole slaw. We both strongly disliked the collard greens because the vinegar was so overwhelming. The beans were good. The Mac n Cheese was not good; we both felt that Kraft Macaroni and Cheese is better than that Mac n Cheese. (The best Macaroni and Cheese I’ve ever had is from The Lady & Sons restaurant in Savannah, GA. If you’re ever in Savannah, and you’re not concerned about eating high cholesterol food, I highly recommend the buffet at that restaurant. It’s not health food, but it’s good food.)

Photo of trays of food, including beans, collard greens, mac-n-cheese, and various meats at Guy's Pig & Anchor Bar-b-que on Carnival Magic.

Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse on Deck 5, Promenade Deck - Carnival Magic

Photo of trays of food, including sausage and other meats, at Guy's Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse on Carnival Magic.

Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse on Deck 5, Promenade Deck - Carnival Magic

Photo of a plate of food with all the options from Guy's Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse on Carnival Magic.

A little of everything from Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse on Deck 5, Promenade Deck - Carnival Magic

Day Two Lido Buffet Lunch

From there we went back to the Lido Restaurant to note what they were offering at the buffet that day for lunch. There are a few areas to the food in the indoor area of the Lido Buffet - one area is Chef's Choice, which offers a different International theme each day, like Italian, Caribbean, Mexican, and so on. Another area is Comfort Kitchen, which offers home cooking food, like Pot Roast, Mashed Potatoes, and so on. There is also a Salad Bar area. The Mongolian Wok is also in the Lido Restaurant indoor area. Sweet Spot is directly across from the area that has the Salad Bar and the Comfort Kitchen choices. The Carnival Deli is also in the indoor area of the Lido Restaurant.

The Lido lunch buffet items that day were Vegetable Casserole; Mac n’ Cheese; Manhattan Clam Chowder; Fish, Squids n’ Fries; Honey Mustard Virginia Ham, which is freshly carved for you; cheesy Mashed Potato; Lemon Fish; Fried Chicken; Pot Roast, which didn’t look like any Pot Roast I’ve ever seen, but I didn’t try it, so I can’t say if it was good or not; Corn Bread, and you could see the corn on the bread; Oriental Pasta Cilantro dressing; and other items. We didn’t try any of those items because we had no room left in our bellies!

Photo of trays of food at the Lido buffet lunch on Carnival Magic.

Lido Buffet at lunch on Carnival Magic - Shown is Pot Roast on the right, and Fried Chicken on the left

Photo of trays of food at the Lido buffet lunch on Carnival Magic.

Lido Buffet at lunch on Carnival Magic - Shown from left to right is: Cheesy Mashed Potatoes, Lemon Fish, and Fried Chicken

Photo of trays of food at the Lido buffet lunch on Carnival Magic.

Lido Buffet at lunch on Carnival Magic

Exercise All That Food Off!

After eating lots of food, we decided to exercise. My husband got changed for basketball, and I, well, I didn’t get changed, which was pretty stupid because I knew I was planning on jogging and walking on the jogging track while my husband played basketball. There were a few kids at the court shooting baskets, so my husband got a game going with them and a couple of adults. I learned that sneakers are not meant for speed walking or running, (my feet were starting to get blisters), so after a few laps around, I sat on the “bleachers” area and watched them play. It was beautiful outside that day, the temperature was nice, so it was enjoyable to be outside in the fresh ocean air.

Photo of the Shrimp Cocktail at the main dining room dinner on Carnival Magic during Elegant Attire Night.

Shrimp Cocktail - Elegant Attire Night in Main Dining Room for Dinner

Main Dining Room Dinner - Day Two

The attire that night for dinner was cruise elegant, so we dressed up for dinner. The best part about dinner was that they had lobster. I don’t eat lobster; I think it looks delicious, but the few times I’ve tried it, I’ve always ended up spitting it out into my napkin, and that’s always been in a fancy restaurant, and even though I’ve always been discreet about it, that’s pretty gross. I’ve learned my lesson - stop putting lobster in my mouth. I have to tell myself, “Don’t be drawn in by how delicious it looks, just remember it will, without a doubt, end up in your white cloth napkin, so just don’t put any lobster in your mouth.” But my husband loves lobster, and he enjoys it so much, that I enjoy him eating it, so I’m always happy for him on the day of our cruises when we know lobster is being served for dinner. (He enjoyed his lobsters so much that he forgot to take photos of them.)

Photo of Seared Striped Bass with string beans and sour dough fried potatoes at main dining room dinner on Carnival Magic

Seared Striped Bass - Lemon, creamy savoy cabbage, sour dough fried potatoes - Main Dining Room Dinner - Carnival Magic

The appetizers that night for dinner were: Shrimp Cocktail - traditional cocktail sauce; Tart with Braised Kale, Blackened Pork Tenderloin - Citrus cream; Fried Oysters - Chipotle, lime; Mushroom Cream Soup; Italian Wedding Soup - Meatballs, endive, egg, parmesan; Baby Spinach Salad - Blue cheese dressing; Kale or Romaine Caesar Salad - House made dressing, shaved parmesan.

The entrees were: Spaghetti Carbonara - Bacon, cheese, garlic, cream; Seared Striped Bass - Lemon, creamy savoy cabbage, sour dough fried potatoes; Broiled Maine Lobster Tail - Toasted orzo with shrimp, broccoli, citrus gremolata; Slow Cooked Prime Rib - Baked potato, horseradish; Root Vegetables in a Pie Crust - Herbed ricotta mousse, roasted red pepper; Fetured Vegetarian - Indian style vegetable dish with lentils basmati rice, pickle, papadam and raita.

From the Grill: Salmon Fillet - Citrus and pepper rub; Chicken Breast - Roast Garlic and Herbs; Flat Iron Steak - Pepper, herbs; Pork Chop - Caramelized onions, stewed apple. (Sauces: Chimichurri, BBQ Sauce, Peppercorn, Roasted Garlic and Tomato Tapenade, Béarnaise.)

The desserts were: Vanilla Creme Brulé; Malted Chocolate Hazelnut Cake - Warm chocolate sauce; Carnival Melting Chocolate Cake; Coffee Cream Cake - Espresso sabayon, oats crumble, lower calorie, no sugar added; Fresh Tropical Fruit Plate; Cheese Plate; Selection of Ice Creams.

My husband had the Shrimp Cocktail, and he enjoyed it. I wasn’t very hungry because I ate so much at lunch, so I didn’t order an appetizer. For his entree, my husband very much enjoyed his lobster tails, and I had the Seared Striped Bass, which I thought was not bad, but not great. Maybe if I had been hungrier I would have enjoyed it more. For dessert, my husband had the malted chocolate hazelnut cake, and we both liked it. I had the vanilla creme brulée, which was possibly the largest creme brulée I’ve ever had. It was good, but I couldn’t
finish it.

Photo of the Malted Chocolate Hazelnut Cake at the main dining room dinner on Carnival Magic.

Malted Chocolate Hazelnut Cake with Warm Chocolate Sauce (Surprisingly good) - Main Dining Room Dinner - Carnival Magic

Photo of the Vanilla Creme Brulé at the main dining room dinner on Carnival Magic.

Vanilla Creme Brulé - Main Dining Room Dinner - Carnival Magic

Pizzeria del Capitano For A Midnight Meal

Later that night, after changing into comfortable clothing, we walked around the ship, listened to music, and just enjoyed the evening. Because I didn’t each much for dinner, by around midnight I started feeling hungry. Fortunately, there is always food available on a cruise ship, whether it’s from the 24 hours room service, or, on the Carnival Magic, the added option of the 24 hours Pizzeria del Capitano and the 24 hours Swirls Soft Serve and FroYo. Plus, they were offering Late Night Snacks in the Lido Restaurant from 11:30 p.m. until 1:00 a.m. We opted for the pizza, which had a very long, slow moving line. But we were on a cruise ship with no agenda, so we didn’t mind the line.

The people in front of us in line were a couple from New York who are used to eating great pizza, and they raved about how delicious this pizza is. They said their two children like this pizza a lot too, and they all had the pizza for dinner. We were really looking forward to trying this pizza!

The pizza choices are always the same: Margherita - tomato sauce, basil, fresh buffalo mozzarella; Funghi - tomato Sauce, mushrooms, fresh buffalo mozzarella; Pepperoni - tomato sauce, pepperoni, fresh buffalo mozzarella; Quattro Formaggi - roasted garlic, gorgonzola, provolone, parmesan, fresh buffalo mozzarella; and Prosciutto - roasted garlic, rucola, prosciutto, fresh buffalo mozzarella.

My husband ordered Pepperoni pizza, which they make a lot of, so it was already made when he ordered it. I ordered the Margherita pizza, but asked for roasted garlic to be added on it. Special requests take forever at this place. There were two guys making the pizzas, and they kept making lots of pepperoni pizzas, but if you wanted something other than pepperoni pizza you had to wait longer, and if you have a special request - such as adding garlic to the Margherita Pizza, that took even longer; it seems as though requesting anything other than pepperoni pizza equates to disrupting their pepperoni pizza making process, and you certainly must wait for your request. They made two Margherita pizzas after I ordered mine with roasted garlic, and we watched them make them without putting the garlic on them. My husband kept speaking up, but they just kept forgetting the garlic, and so we waited and waited until finally my pizza was made.

Photo of a pepperoni pizza with very little pepperoni at Pizzeria del Capitano on Carnival Magic.

Pepperoni pizza with hardly any pepperoni - it looks so sad because it needs more pepperoni - Pizzeria del Capitano - Carnival Magic

We took our pizzas to our cabin, hoping they were as good as we were told they are. My pizza had hardly any cheese on it, which is not a good thing in my opinion because I love cheese. My husband didn’t like his pizza, and I didn’t like my pizza. The basil on the Margherita pizza is dried basil flakes, and I found hardly any on my pizza. There was also hardly any garlic, so my pizza was basically dough, sauce unevenly spread around, with a very small amount of cheese. It was not good.

After eating a little bit of our pizzas, my husband went to the Alchemy Bar to bring back a cocktail for me. It was the Cucumber Sunrise - it’s made with Belvedere Vodka, watermelon nectar, muddled cucumber, fresh squeezed lime juice and a splash of orange juice. It’s so very good! It’s a great drink to end the day with.

Photo of the Cucumber Sunrise cocktail from the Alchemy Bar on Carnival Magic.

Cucumber Sunrise from the Alchemy Bar
on Carnival Magic (Yummy!)

Now to wind down and sleep so we are ready for our next day - Cozumel, Mexico! Tequilla shopping will commence in just a few hours!

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