We just returned from our first-ever cruise on board the Carnival Magic as part of the #LetsGoCarnival blogger retreat… and we LOVED it!! Since it was a 7-day cruise, we had plenty of time to explore and really experience a lot of what the ship has to offer! Before the cruise, I shared our Carnival Magic “to-do list” and I’m pleased to say that we checked everything off the list! So now that we’ve experienced the ship, I wanted to share our favorite things so you can be sure to add them to your cruise list! Truly, narrowing it down to a “Top 10” list was tough because there are so many great things about the ship! But, I went with the 10 favorites that I think really made the trip even more magical and were the things we kept raving about again and again. So, without further ado, here’s the list:
10 Favorite Things on Board the Carnival Magic
- Balcony Stateroom. There was something magical about being able to open the blinds each morning to see beautiful ocean views or incredible port cities. From our balcony, we watched some dolphins as we headed out to sea, saw flying fish skim the waves, and enjoyed beautiful sunrises & sunsets. I think having a balcony room like that really added to the ambiance and vacation vibe. Plus, it was nice for having a bit more space for storage and moving about! All the natural light was a wonderful bonus too!
- Camp Ocean. The kids went to Camp Ocean every single day and LOVED it! It’s an absolutely fantastic service (included in the price of your cruise) – one that BOTH the kids & parents were very happy with. As a sometimes over-protective mom with 3 little ones, I’m cautious about who I leave them with. But, I felt very comfortable with the level of care, organization, education, etc. that went on in Camp Ocean. It was VERY well run & an AWESOME way for parents to get to enjoy some adult-only time on vacation!
- Waterworks. A waterpark at sea?! YES!! We enjoyed a couple of fun-filled afternoons playing here! There were two big water slides, as well as two little ones (perfect for even the smallest of cruisers), and lots of fun water features. A good time was had by all! Plus, there were killer views from the water slide lines!
- Sports Deck. With 3 active kiddos, everyone was so excited to find a whole sports deck area to get some energy out. There was fitness equipment, a track, a full basketball court, the SkyCourse, and a whole game area (complete with mini golf, foosball, billiards, cornhole, etc). The boys LOVED playing here!! They did basketball, foosball, and LOTS of mini golf!
- Dive-In Movies. Sitting around the lido deck, watching movies under the stars- this was a GREAT way to end the day! It was so fun to snag a lounge chair, get a drink (and some popcorn or an ice cream cone) and watch a great movie! Most nights there were 2 movies – a more family friendly one around 8:00pm and then a PG-13 or R-rated show after 10:00pm+. We were really impressed too that most of the shows were fairly new releases (some not even out on DVD yet) – things like Cinderella, The Jungle Book, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Kung Fu Panda 3, and Zootopia were big hits for our family! It was great!
- Towel Animals. After a fun dive-in movie, it was ALWAYS a treat to be greeted by an adorable towel animal when got back to our room! It became a nightly bit of excitement for the kids to see what kind of animal we would find when we got back. One night we had a whole menagerie – with the boys’ stuffed animals joining multiple towel animals on the bed. ADORABLE! And, one morning on the ship, the entire lido deck was a towel animal zoo! Absolutely LOVED this!
- Guy Fieri’s Restaurants. Food is a big part of the fun of cruising and there was no shortage of good food on board. But the Guy Fieri restaurants were especially tasty! There are actually two on board – Guy’s Burger Joint and Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse. Both were delicious!!! I’m not sure I care to admit how many times we ate cheeseburgers on board! They were SO good!!! But the bar-b-que at Pig & Anchor was absolutely delicious as well. It We made sure to take advantage of that on the days it was open! The kids were quite happy to see that some delish mac ‘n cheese was served up there too! Yummmmm!
- Pizzeria Del Capitano. This was another food favorite on board. We actually didn’t discover it until toward the end of the cruise, but then we may have had pizza at least once a day the rest of the trip. It was SO good!!! Thin crust, just the right seasoning, and here’s the dangerous part….it was open 24 hours a day the ENTIRE cruise! Hello…YUM!! This was perfect for traveling with kids for those moments where you just need something quick, easy & tasty that everyone will love! The picture doesn’t even do it justice – SOOoooo good!
- Alchemy Bar. This one was something SUPER fun for adults! Since I was traveling with quite a few blogger friends, we enjoyed spending many a late evening here. It was the most unique bar experiences I’ve ever had – where the bartenders actually do all kinds of custom concoctions based on your personal prescription (complete with cute prescription tablets you can fill out)! It has such a cool vibe – and delicious drinks as well. But, what really put this over the top and onto my Top 10 list was the amazing service. There are three alchemists on the ship and they were all AMAZING! So, here’s a shout-out to Drazen & Bojana for making me fabulous drinks!
- The Fun! There is a reason Carnival is known as the “Fun Ship” Line. There really was something for everyone on the ship and something fun going on just about all the time. Whether your idea of “fun” is playing at the water park, gambling at the casino, testing your memory at trivia night, partying at the nightclubs, watching an awesome movie under the stars, taking in a Vegas-style show, impromptu dance parties around the pool, or relaxing at the spa, you’re sure to find something fun going on! Each night we had a Fun Times Guide delivered to our room with all the different activities going on the next day on board! As a first-time cruiser who didn’t entirely know what to expect, I thought this was incredible! Seriously there was SO much going on!!! And everything was made all the more fun by the incredible service. Reverend Dr. E was the fun times director on board and he was a joy to watch & listen to (I want a ring tone of his good morning song)! We even had signing and dancing waiters! What a blast!
So, needless to say, we had a great first cruise experience on board the Carnival Magic and are already dreaming of our next cruise trip!
Have YOU cruised before?! What were YOUR favorite things on board?
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Disclosure: We were invited to participate in the #LetsGOCarnival retreat/press trip with Carnival. The opinions and experiences are entirely my own.