Saturday, March 26, 2016

Carnival Magic... NEED to Know

June 2015 

Chris and I sailed on the Carnival Magic in June 2015 and had a BLAST! We have documented our activities with pictures, videos and a completely separate set of blog posts. These blogs not only showcase our memories and activities but also have tons of tips, tricks and behind the scene knowledge! You can find these blogs HERE.

The Carnival Magic

While on the Magic we noticed some things that future travelers might want to know. They are as follows: 

  • Do the SkyCourse (The Magic's on board ropes course on deck 12) EARLY! The earlier the better in fact. We did it on embarkation day as they opened and were able to do it 3-4 times in a row before anyone else arrived. You can also do this activity on port days to avoid less crowds. The wind is a HUGE factor is allowing this activity to be open so once again, doing it on embarkation day when the ship is parked is the best idea! Also, they only allow GoPro style helmet cameras on the course. No iPhone or regular cameras are allowed ON the course! 
  • Also do the WaterWorks water park early in your vacation. This is less because of the wind and more because of the kids and crowds. This thing is HUGE but can fill up fast when 4,500-4,700 guests are on board. This, too, is a GREAT attraction on the Magic and can be done on a port day. It usually opens at 9AM. 
  • If you book a balcony on decks 6-9, be aware that these look straight down to the Lanai deck (Deck 5) and not the ocean. This also means that those on deck 5 can look up into your balcony! The Carnival Dream class ships (Dream, Magic and Breeze) offer Cove Balconies on Deck 2 which will give you the regular balcony effect of looking out directly into the ocean. 
  • The Lido Marketplace has 2 buffets and the aft buffet offers the SAME food, plus a burrito bar, and is rarely as busy as the mid-ship buffet. Plus the seating is a lot less crowded and busy. 
  • Mongolian Wok, an Asian style Mongolian BBQ, is offered in the Mid-ship Lido buffet and is FABULOUS but will fill up fast! We saw the lines as long as 20 people deep (on each side) so be sure to do this when it opens or even better, on embarkation day! It is open from 12:00PM to 2:30PM each day! This is a fee-free meal option but the lines can get very long! 
  • The specialty restaurant Cucina del Captiano is on deck 11 above the aft Lido Buffet and offers a complementary pasta bar on Sea Day lunches from 12:00 to 1:30PM. This was the best lunch on our cruise. Get there early as it too, will get busy fast! 
  • The Carnival Magic guest capacity is 3,690 (Double Occupancy) but we had 4,693 on our June 2015 cruise. You will not see these 4,700 passengers until it is eating time. Then you will see all 4,700 trying to get some food. The Oceanside BBQ offered on Deck 5 on sea days is somewhat unknown so there will not be a lot of people there. Also, if you have Your Time Dining the earlier the better. 
  • The Magic offers a Dr. Seuss character breakfast on the last sea day of the cruise. This is a FANTASTIC experience for kids up to 10 years old I would say (there was a 5th grader at our table and she loved it). Be sure to book this as soon as you get on board as it WILL SELL OUT! Sometimes they will offer an additional seating but not every time. 
  • Comedy Clubs- These are at the aft of the ship and are a great way to spend an evening. They have to completely empty the venue at the end of each show (they offer 3-5 each night) due to the nature of the "Family Friendly/ PG" vs "Adult" options of each show. When the venue is cleared you will see an enormous line of passengers on deck 5 waiting to get into the next show. Do not let this line detour you from going to a show. These venues hold 300-400 guests and are rather large. The "PG" shows seemed to fill up faster and offered "standing room only" quicker than the "adult" show. Also, do know that the "adult" shows are very vulgar, dirty and highly offensive. Call me a prude but I was appalled. 
  • If you like coffee be sure to check out the on board coffee shop on Deck 5. They offer a discounted coffee mug, which entitles you to your 1st coffee FREE, and a rewards card. Buy 6 get one FREE! This paid off well for the 2 of us as we love our coffee!
  • Northern Light Dining Room offers a "back entrance" towards the aft of the ship. Guests can enter the dining room through this door. Also know that Your Time Dining is from 5:45 to 9:30PM but Carnival was consistent in opening the doors earlier (5:25 to 5:30PM most nights). 
  • Sea Day Tea Time- This was offered at 3:00PM on sea days and was a very high class event offering all kinds of tea and snacks. This is not to be missed, especially if you are a tea drinker. Plus the best desserts on the ship are offered here. 
  • Sea Dogs is a hot dog shack offered on the Sports Deck 11 just below the SkyCourse. This is offered on most sea days and an easy way for kids to grab a quick bite between sets on the SkyCourse or other activities on the sports deck. 
  • The Main Pool area (mid-ship deck 10) is MASSIVE and has over 250 deck chairs, a larger than usual pool and 2 gazebos surrounding the pool for shade. On the next to last day the crew will supply all 250 deck chairs with a towel animal called the Towel Animal Parade. This is really a site to see and tour the chairs but be sure to get there early for pictures as once those 4,700 people wake up and tour it themselves it will not look the same! 
  • The Carnival Magic is known for being hot, especially mid-ship rooms (interiors, ocean-views and balconies), as this proved to be true for our June 2015 cruise. I had read reviews and chose not to bring my fan solely because I didn't want to have to haul it... I really wish I would have hauled it. Luckily my room steward gave me hers, like her personal fan from her own room, which helped but in the future I will just bring my own! 
  • The Magic uses an energy saving system from their lights. This requires a room key style of bar code to turn the lights on. We knew this ahead of time and brought old cruise cabin keys but any old hotel room or gift card style of card will work. And of course, your ACTUAL cabin key will work but it gets annoying to take your card off your lanyard just to turn on the lights! 
The Carnival Magic is a state of the art cruise ship and easily the most fun ship we have sailed on. It is literally jam packed with attractions and activities for anyone aged 3 to 103 to enjoy! I hope this list has helped you in some way! 

Keep Calm and CRUISE ON! 

God is good... All the time! 


  1. Thank you for this blog! Your family is adorable! We are cruising this July and your info is very helpful! We're in an interior room, are we going to swelter?

    1. Sorry for the delay... Been on another cruise!

      Yes... I will try to pack a small fan for your room! I swear EVERY Carnival room I have ever stayed in is CRAZY hot! I do in fact sleep and usually very hot but shoot we just got back from Alaska and it was too hot in that room too! Do yourself a favor and just bring a fan!