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Carnival Magic Atrium

Carnival Magic
May 2011
Making Magic At Sea

by Linda Coffman

From a distance, Carnival Magic may not appear to be substantially different than her earlier sister-ship Carnival Dream, or even some of her other fleetmates for that matter. She may not even appear larger, although at 130,000 tons the Dream-class ship is the second of the the largest "Fun Ships" constructed by Carnival Cruise Lines to date. However, while there is no doubt that she is Carnival ship, Carnival Magic is truly an evolution in design and function. While her decor is toned down a notch, you'll still find all the fun you expect and more.

The new 3,690-passenger Dream-class ship offers stunning "Magical Features"—such as the Caribbean-inspired RedFrog Pub with its own private label house brand Thirsty Frog Red draught beer and pub food; a massive water park with a 312-feet long twister waterslide, DrainPipe funnel-style slide, aqua play splash park, and Power Drencher; SportsSquare outdoor recreation area with mini-golf, a basketball/volleyball/soccer multipurpose court, an outdoor fitness center, and ropes course; and Cucina del Capitano Italian specialty restaurant. And there's even more.

Carnival Magic's array of traditional and alternative dining choices are the most expansive you'll find in the fleet.

The Southern Lights Restaurant and Northern Lights Restaurant are the formal dining rooms where diners are assigned either early or late seating or the more flexible Your Time Dining, an open-seating option. Start your dinner with a selection of appetizers, soups, and salads, and move on to a variety of entrees. In addition to the always popular lobster, served once each cruise, Carnival's decadent Chocolate Melting Cake is available every night. Don't be in too much of a hurry to leave the dining room or you'll miss the inventive and talented wait staff performing musical numbers just as energetically as they served your meal.

For a romantic dinner or special occasion, Prime, Carnival Magic's steakhouse features a full service bar for before or after dinner cocktails and, for the $30 per person cover charge, it's one of the best restaurants—and dining bargains—at sea. Not only is the food exceptional (escargot, New England crab cakes, lobster bisque, grilled lamp chops, prime rib, free range chicken, veal chops, lobster, and several cuts of beef from 9 to 24 ounces), but the presentation is sophisticated and the atmosphere decidedly upscale. It's a fine dining experience you won't want to miss.

Cucina del Capitano

New on Carnival Magic is the Italian specialty restaurant, Cucina del Capitano, that celebrates Carnival's tradition of Italian captains by sharing some of their favorite dishes. Served in relaxed family-style surroundings that celebrate Italy, the menu includes pastas, risotto, and Italian specialties. The setting is enhanced by framed photographs of Carnival’s ships, its captains, and their families that adorn the walls. Lunch is complimentary and dinner is $10 per person ($5 for children under age 11).

The variety of casual dining choices starts at breakfast with made-to-order omelets and continues with a wide variety of buffet items for lunch, as well as meat-carving and pasta stations, Indian tandoor selections, a Mongolian stir-fry wok, and burrito bar in the casual buffet-style Lido Marketplace Restaurant. In addition to the usual selections, there are a daily taste-of-nations specialty, a Pizza bar, outdoor Grill areas serving fresh burgers and grilled favorites, and the Deli for just-made sandwiches. Several serving stations dispense ice cream treats. Try the Sushi & More Sushi Bar on Deck 5 for freshly prepared sushi before dinner. Also on Deck 5, the Plaza Cafe patisserie serves specialty coffees, teas, and pastry treats for a nominal charge and offers complimentary snacks throughout the day and evening. RedFrog Pub serves Caribbean favorites, such as Bahamian conch salad, grouper fingers, and firecracker Jamaican chicken wings for a $3.33 charge per item. For a quick burger and trimmings on sea days, head to the Lanai on Deck 5 where you'll find an outdoor barbeque waiting at lunchtime.

For parents who want to share a romantic dinner for two, the Camp Carnival program and group evening babysitting takes the hassle out of child care. In addition to the many choices, Carnival Magic offers the flexibility of dining whenever you are hungry—around the clock. Room service never closes and, while the choices are somewhat limited, a picnic on your private balcony is always a treat.

With so many categories from which to choose on Carnival Magic, stateroom selection might seem daunting. In reality, there are only five main accommodations types with a few differing configurations within them. They range from standard Interior and Ocean View staterooms to Ocean View staterooms with private balconies and Suites and Penthouse Suites with large private balconies. More than 60% of all staterooms are outside and, of those, over 80% have balconies. Within the balcony categories are Premium Vista Balcony staterooms that are aft-facing and have an extended balcony and Cove Balcony staterooms that are close to the water level. A step up from standard outside cabins and ideal for families are Deluxe Ocean View staterooms that feature a full bathroom with shower and separate washroom with sink and junior tub.

Carnival Magic features 86 exclusive "spa accommodations" with unlimited access to the Cloud 9 Spa facilities via private elevator and special amenities, including the use of special "Cloud 9 Spa" logo items, personal fitness bands and yoga mats, complimentary fitness classes, and priority reservations for spa treatments and services.

Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony

Carnival Cruise Lines has always prided themselves on spacious cabins and Carnival Magic’s are no exception. The staterooms are actually very similar in layout and décor to Conquest-class vessels. Yet the cabins appear more open because the desktop-to-ceiling storage unit found on older ships was eliminated and the desk/vanity has been lengthened to include additional under-counter storage. The television is a flat screen mounted on the wall.

Unlike the recent trend for cabins with few drawers, Carnival Magic’s standard balcony cabins have a trio of nice deep ones built into the vanity/desk, where you’ll also find a mini-bar-fridge, a personal safe, more storage behind cabinet doors, and open book shelves. There are two huge drawers in the base of the sitting area sofa and even some additional small storage cubbies in the two nightstands.

Staterooms feature mirrored accents, a hairdryer in a vanity/desk drawer, and terrycloth bathrobes are provided for use during the cruise in all ocean view accommodations. The outstanding lighting that encircles the living area even extends to the front of the closets, which can be dark holes on some ships.

Nothing can ruin a vacation faster than a lumpy, bumpy bed with scratchy sheets and pancake thin pillow. To insure sweet dreams, Carnival provides more than a chocolate treat on your pillow. The exclusive "Carnival Comfort Bed" systems start with plush mattresses and add soft and comfy duvets, upgraded pillows, and linens for a good night's sleep. 

Bathroom amenities include shampoo and bath gel in shower mounted dispensers and an array of sample toiletries. The shower itself is roomy and has a pull-out clothesline for drying bathing suits or hand laundry. A real convenience is the two-sided (regular and magnifying) bathroom shaving/make up mirror. Closet and drawer/shelf storage, as well as bathroom shelves, are more than adequate.

Family-friendly accommodations include interconnecting staterooms; many, including suites, can accommodate up to three or four. Passengers with physical challenges haven't been overlooked—staterooms have been designed that take their special needs into consideration.

Continue to explore Public Spaces & More --> Carnival Magic (Part 2)

Cruise Diva's Blog Highlights from the Carnival Magic Inaugural cruise from Venice:

Get Your Thrills On Carnival Magic
Carnival Magic Fun Facts
Do You Believe In Magic?
Carnival Magic: Home Away From Home
Serene Relaxation Onboard Carnival Magic
Thirsty Aboard Carnival Magic
Aboard Carnival Magic: Stromboli & Beer
Carnival Magic Has Watery Fun For All
Carnival’s Magic In All Sizes
Carnival Magic: Food For All Tastes
Carnival Magic: I Love The Nightlife
Carnival Magic Critters

Images © and courtesy Carnival Cruise Lines

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