Cruises are always fun, but some are definitely more fun than others. The same goes for ships. Each ship has something to offer, some more than others. It’s not always the ship or even the itinerary that makes a cruise special though. We had an especially good time on Carnival Magic and really liked the ship, but part of the enjoyment came from traveling with a large family group. We shared one of the 5-person deluxe ocean view cabins with our daughter and Australian grandkids. Also cruising with us we had our American grandson, his mother and other grandmother, and my sister.
We tend to participate more in the fun and games the ship’s entertainment crew provides when traveling with other people. The Magic had a giant Jenga type game they called Carnival Tower that the kids really enjoyed – and they made a taller tower than the girl running it saw very often. We also played the bean bag toss a couple times with various kids. We found one of the nightly movies under the stars that all the kids wanted to see, and another that my sister and I watched with Justin, our older grandson. They also enjoyed the family-friendly comedy shows several nights.
I don’t think any of us did any of the trivia games this cruise, but with a group effort we managed to win a photo scavenger hunt. The kids aren’t so much into the nightly stage shows, but they did have fun at Hasbro the Game Show even though none of us got picked to participate this time.
The Magic has a fun sort of décor. A lot of things have bright happy colors. One of the stairways had beachy pictures often with parrots in them which I liked. Another stairway had pictures of marbles on one level, which Daniel thought was the greatest thing ever as far as cruise ship art goes. Hallways to the passenger cabins had brightly colored pictures, of which my favorite was the toucan.
The two younger grandkids enjoyed going to Camp Ocean, but the older one has never been into the cruise ship kid’s programs and never set foot in Circle C. He found other things to keep amused, water slides always being a favorite. I don’t think I’d take kids on a ship that didn’t have water slides unless it had something else age appropriate that was just as entertaining. We found time one day for a swim in one of the ship’s pools followed by sitting in the hot tub.
Hannah did have a big disappointment one day when we went to go on the ropes course though. Much as her mom tried to find out whether or not there was a height limit beforehand, she couldn’t find that information. Mostly Carnival’s website just says the ropes course is fun for all, but that’s a bit deceiving. Sheri never found the obscure bit in the FAQ (frequently asked questions) area of Carnival’s website where it actually does give a height limit to know beforehand that Hannah was a bit too small and wouldn’t be allowed so it definitely wasn’t any fun for her. She’s done ropes courses before at other places and quite enjoyed them so that was one of the things she had looked forward to most.
Even mealtimes can be fun on cruise ships. Carnival always has their singing waiters – who do one song and dance routine most dinners. The Magic also had a tableside magician. The kids loved him so much the first night that he came to our table with a different trick every night. We even gave him a tip – something he doesn’t see many of.
Once per cruise Carnival has the Dr. Seuss breakfast, where some of the food is as wild as the stories. Characters come for a visit and sometime during that day or one near to it there is a Dr. Seuss parade and storytime.
Towels are fun too when folded into animals. The kids collected our nightly animal all week and put them in the window – sometimes joined by one or more of their stuffed animals. One day during the cruise the ship had towel animal theater where towel animal puppets put on a show in the main theater. One morning the Lido deck was full of towel animals – the towel animal invasion that happens once each cruise on Carnival.
Luckily there’s no age limit on the mini-golf since we all had fun playing that. A couple of the adults frequented the casino – a place I try to never even walk through due to the fact that smoking is allowed there and I’m allergic to tobacco smoke. None of us made it into the gym this cruise, but Tina and Evelyn enjoyed the thermal suite, the use of which came with their spa cabin.
The ship also has ping-ping and foosball tables, an indoor shuffleboard game, and of course lots of bars. It has a few shops, and there’s a daily schedule of things available for people to do. With the large group we had we sometimes just found an empty table somewhere for some of us to sit around and play a game.
We’re usually pretty good at entertaining ourselves. There’s always so much to do I can’t imagine getting bored on a cruise. Besides shows and movies, evening activities include music in places like the piano bar or nightclub and sometimes in other areas as well. Not to mention nature’s entertainment with sunrises, sunsets, and just watching the sea go by – sometimes with the appearance of things like flying fish or even whales or dolphins.