Carnival Magic - Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)

Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)

Carnival Magic

★★★ +

Berlitz’s Ratings

Ship: 371 out of 500

Accommodation: 144 out of 200

Food: 218 out of 400

Service: 256 out of 400

Entertainment: 76 out of 100

Cruise: 259 out of 400

Overall Score: 1324 out of 2000

Carnival Magic Statistics

Size: Large Resort Ship

Tonnage: 128,048

Lifestyle: Standard

Cruise Line: Carnival Cruise Lines

Former Names: none

IMO Number: 9378486

Builder: Fincantieri (Italy)

Original Cost: $740 million

Entered Service: Jun 2011

Registry: Panama

Length (ft/m): 1,004.0/306.0

Beam (ft/m): 158.0/48.0

Draft (ft/m): 26.2/8.0

Propulsion/Propellers: Diesel-electric (75,600kW)/2

Passenger Decks: 13

Total Crew: 1,367

Passengers (lower beds): 3,646

Passenger Space Ratio (lower beds): 35.1

Passenger/Crew Ratio (lower beds): 2.6

Cabins (total): 1,823

Size Range (sq ft/m): 185.0-430.5/17.1-40.0

Cabins (for one person): 0

Cabins (with private balcony): 887

Cabins (wheelchair accessible): 35

Wheelchair accessibility: Good

Cabin Current: 110 volts

Elevators: 20

Casino (gaming tables): Yes

Slot Machines: Yes

Swimming Pools: 2

Hot Tubs (on deck): 7

Self-Service Launderette: Yes

Dedicated Cinema/Seats: No

Library: Yes

Onboard currency: US$


The whole family will enjoy this high-energy floating resort

Overview. Carnival Magic is a sister ship to Carnival Dream, introduced in 2010, and both are 13 percent larger than their earlier close sister Carnival Splendor. One thing that stands out is a long Twister Water Slide, part of The WaterWorks on pool deck, which is lots of fun for kids, while an extra-charge retreat called Serenity is for adults only.

The Ship. Although the ship’s bows are short, its profile is nicely balanced, with a rakish front and a more rounded stern. The ship is based on the original design for Carnival Sunshine, and includes some of the design flaws of the Sunshine-class, with a passenger capacity increase of over 1,000. Strangely, the cabin numbering system - even numbers, starboard side; odd numbers, port side - goes completely against the maritime tradition that places even-numbered cabins on the port, or left, side; and odd-numbered cabins on the starboard, or right, side.

A WaterWorks pool deck has lots of water and sports amusements - not to mention the really long orange multi-deck ‘Twister Water Slide’ and popular ‘Power Drencher.’ However, there simply isn’t enough open deck space for the number of passengers the ship carries, so sunbed loungers are tightly packed together.

There is a full walk-around open promenade deck, lined with deck chairs. Four ‘scenic hot tubs’ are cantilevered over the sea and provide fine views, but they do get crowded, and rowdy. Higher up, Lido Deck 10 offers a very good open-deck area, with small pool and a large Seaside Theater LED movie screen. Carnival Magic is the second Carnival ship to stage a laser light show outdoors.

The interior decor is vivid - really vivid. The main lobby is the stunning connection point for ship functions and people. Take the glass-walled elevators for a neat view, though you may need sunglasses. It’s good to see three main elevator towers: forward, amidships, and aft, unlike larger ships such as Oasis of the Seas, which, although it carries many more passengers, has only two such towers. So, well done, Carnival - better for safety.

The Ocean Plaza is a comfortable area by day and an entertainment venue by night. The indoor/outdoor café and live music venue has a bandstand where a variety of musical genres are showcased, a large circular dance floor, and around 190 seats. A floor-to-ceiling curved glass wall separates the room, dividing indoor and outdoor seating areas. An adjacent bar also offers coffee, ice creams, and pastries. The Page Turner (great name) is the ship’s library, while Jackpot is - you guessed it - the colorful, large, lively and noisy casino.

Other rooms include The Song (Jazz Bar) and Ocean Plaza (a sort of quiet area during the day, but lively at night with live entertainment); Internet-connect computer terminals are scattered throughout the ship, but few have much privacy. There’s also a 232-capacity conference room called The Chambers. This was the first Carnival ship to have a pub, the RedFrog Pub, with its own-label beer, ThirstyFrog Red.

Families. Youngsters have their own play areas, with children’s programs divided into five age-specific groups under Camp Ocean (ages 2−11 - with children ages 2−5 called ‘Penguins’; 6−8-year-olds called ‘Sting Rays’; 9−11-year-olds called ‘Sharks’). Tweens have ‘Circle C’, while teenagers have their own ‘Club O2’ - a chill-out (no adults allowed) room/disco.

Also, all kids love Carnival WaterWorks, an outdoor aqua park with exhilarating water slides.

By the end of 2015, the words and world of Dr. Seuss will have been rolled out as part of Carnival’s children’s program (check before you sail) − from ‘green eggs and ham’ for breakfast, served by waiters in Dr. Seuss-inspired uniforms, and characters such as the Cat in the Hat, Thing One and Thing Two, and Sam attending, to special showings of movies such as The Cat in the Hat and How the Grinch Stole Christmas (these will be shown outdoors on the poolside Seaside Theater screen on Lido Deck).

‘Deluxe’ ocean-view cabins, with two bathrooms, provide comfort and convenience for families. In addition to twin beds that convert to a king, decent closet space, and elegant decor, the two-bathroom configuration includes one full bathroom and a second bathroom containing a small tub with shower and sink. Some cabins can accommodate five people.

Accommodation. There are many different cabin price categories, but just six cabin types. All accommodation includes the Carnival Comfort Bed with plush mattresses, good-quality duvets, linens, and pillows. However, the straight accommodation deck hallways create rather a cell block look - and they are bright, very bright, even at night. There are also lot of interior cabins. The cabins to go for are those at the stern, with great rearward ocean views on decks 6, 7, 8, and 9.

Apart from the Deluxe cabins described above, there is a wide selection of balcony cabins and suites, including ‘Cove Balcony’ cabins that are the closest to the waterline. Adjacent to the Cloud 9 Spa are ‘Cloud 9’ spa cabins. They provide a number of ‘exclusive’ amenities and privileges.

Dining. There are two main restaurants: Northern Lights, a 1,180-seat amidships dining room, and a smaller 828-seat aft dining room, Southern Lights. Each has two levels: main and balcony, with the galley set on the lower level. Two small restaurant annexes can be reserved by small groups as a private dining room. Expect all-singing, all-dancing waiters to entertain while you search for the elusive green vegetables. Choose either fixed-time dining (6pm or 8.15pm) or flexible dining (any time between 5.45 and 9.30pm). Note that the two main dining rooms are not open for lunch on port days.

Other dining options. The Lido Marketplace, the ship’s large (but not large enough) self-serve buffet facility, has indoor/outdoor seating areas on the lower (main) level and indoor-only seating on the upper level. A number of designated areas serve different types of ethnic cuisine. It really does get congested - particularly for breakfast - and the food is pretty basic, but it works, just. The venue includes a Mongolian Wok and Pasta Bar on the upper level, open 6-9pm for tablecloth-free buffet dinners.

Forward of the buffet venue, and adjacent to the ‘beach pool’ is a pizzeria and fast-food grill. Aft on the same deck is a tandoor (Indian), and a deli counter (for sandwiches and wraps).

An extra-charge, reservations required Prime Steakhouse and bar seats 139. Located on Promenade Deck aft, it features an à la carte menu, fine table settings, and china and silverware. It’s worth paying the cover charge to get a taste of what Carnival can really deliver. There’s a sushi venue, too, called Sushi and More, on Promenade Deck, close to the RedFrog Pub.

Entertainment. The 1,964-seat Showtime Theater spans three decks at the front of the ship, with seating set in a horseshoe shape around a large proscenium arched stage; the sight lines are generally good, except from some of the seats at the back of the lowest level. Large-scale production shows with lots of feathers and skimpy costumes are staged, together with snappy cabaret acts, all with a live showband.

The 425-seat Spotlight Lounge, at the aft end of the ship, has a stage, dance floor, and large bar, and is a comedy venue, including late-night ‘adult comedy.’ Caliente is the ship’s loud, Latin nightclub.

Spa/Fitness. The expansive 23,750-sq-ft (2,206-sq-m) Cloud 9 Spa is a large and elaborate health and wellness center. The uppermost deck includes indoor/outdoor private spa relaxation areas, at extra cost.

There are 10 treatment rooms, including a VIP room, a large massage room for couples, and a Rasul mud treatment room, plus two dry flotation rooms. An extra-charge ‘Thermal Suite’ comes with the typical sensory-enhanced soothing heated chambers: Laconium, Tepidarium, Aroma, and Oriental steam baths. There are two steam rooms, one each for men and women, and a small unisex sauna with a floor-to-ceiling window on its starboard side.

A large outdoor SportsSquare for adults is a fenced area for basketball, football, and volleyball. Then there’s an outdoor weight-training circuit (SkyFitness), and the cutely named Turf on Surf miniature golf course. Perhaps the highlight is SkyCourse, a 230ft (70m) -long outdoor ropes course, suspended above the uppermost deck. After all those activities, you’ll need a cruise to relax.