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Carnival Magic

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Based in Port Canaveral, Florida, and sailing to the Caribbean, the 3,690-passenger Carnival Magic attracts a crowd of the young — and young at heart. This is a great ship for travelers who are looking to indulge in activities around the clock, whether that's a Broadway-style production at the Showtime theater, a poker game at the Hat Trick Casino, or dancing until near dawn at the Vibe club. 

It’s a good time for all ages, plus there's some good grub, too: In spring 2016, TV chef Guy Fieri's Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse debuted on the ship to join the popular Guy's Burger Joint. Launched in 2011 as part of the line's Dream class, this was the first Carnival ship to have a SportSquare ropes course and the RedFrog Pub, which serves the line's own ThirstyFrog Red ale. 

What We Love

Casual Eats: Lines for donkey-sauce topped grilled goodness can be long, but move pretty fast at Guy’s Burger Joint. There's no additional charge for the burgers and fries here, nor for the barbecue favorites such as pulled pork sandwiches, grilled chicken, and pork butt cooked in the custom wood smoker at Guy's Pig & Anchor. Both spots are open only for lunch (and Pig & Anchor only on sea days).

Cucina del Capitano: This specialty restaurant serves classic dishes from caprese salad to spaghetti carbonara for a $15 surcharge. (Tip: Their lunchtime pasta bar is complimentary.) The 2016 dry dock also added Pizzeria del Capitano, where pizza topped with fresh mozzarella is available 24 hours a day for no extra charge.

The Serenity Lounge: Yes, peace is possible. Adults 21 years and over can bypass the boisterous main pool area and relax at the bi-level Serenity Lounge. This quiet outdoor Eden has hot tubs, sun loungers, comfy couches, and a bar.

Best Known For

Thrills of All Kinds: The WaterWorks amusement park features two gigantic waterslides that see as many adults as children. SportSquare, the outdoor playground, is home to the first ropes course at sea and a hot-dog stand to boot. And how much fun is a “Green Eggs and Ham” breakfast ($5 per person) with Dr. Seuss characters?

Kids Programs: Children ages 2 to 11 are invited to play games, watch movies, and join in other fun activities at Camp Carnival and Camp Ocean. Teens from 15 to 17 years old can hang out at supervised Club 02, a safe haven away from adults.

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Who It's Best For

Families: Family suites have both a balcony and two bathrooms, plus there are plenty of activities to enjoy as a clan and separately. Adults can even do their own thing — from a massage at the Cloud 9 spa to a comedy show at Punchliner — without worrying about their precious cargo, thanks to the kids clubs and babysitting services.

Don't Say We Didn't Warn You

Cabins Above the Promenade Deck Can Be Noisy: Deck 5’s Promenade is where the action happens, from the casino to the club, which means that cabins in the vicinity can feel some not-so-good vibrations. Light sleepers might want to bring earplugs or avoid booking cabins nearby.

Chanize Thorpe

Chanize Thorpe is a New York-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has also written for Brides and Uptown.

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Carnival Magic at a Glance
  • Line: Carnival Cruise Line
  • Class: Dream
  • Number of Passengers: 3690
  • Ship Size: Mega
  • Launch Date: 2011
  • Refurbish Date: 2016
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