Carnival Magic

We just spent five days on the Carnival Magic ship, which leaves out of Norfolk, and had a blast. Our ship went to two stops in the Bahamas, Nassau and Freeport, and we had two days at sea. Click on the links to fid out what we did in each city. 

The ship had tons to do, including putt putt, basketball, soccer, a water park with slides and sprayers, pool, foosball, corn hole, giant chess, pools, hot tubs, shows, arcade, and a ropes course (height limit is 42 inches). There was a kids club that we could drop the boys off if we needed some adult time. 

Some tips: 

  • Download the Carnival app. Connect to their free wifi. Check it daily and mark all activities you want your family to participate in. There is everything from magic shows to trivia. You'll get a reminder. A note, the wifi will allow you to use the Carnival app and use imessage, but you won't be able to access anything else unless you buy the wifi package. 
  • Use the app to check the menus. We ate in the dining room every night and the food was amazing. There is a kids menu, although it isn't listed on the app. The wait staff will work with you to help make everyone happy. Also in the dining room be on the lookout for shows and a magician walking around doing tricks. 
  • Although it is not on the menu, everyone can order a banana split for dessert. Also, you can order a side of peanut butter with your chocolate melting cake. 
  • Bring and hide, and look for hidden rubber ducks around the ship. If you find one, you can hide it somewhere new. 
  • Hit the sit down breakfast at least once. Check in with your Carnival app to reserve your table. 
  • You can bring in one bottle of wine per person, plus a 12 pack of soda. You'll need to have this in your carry on. 
  • Bring magnetic clips. The walls and ceiling of your room will be metal. These are great for hanging wet bathing suits or anything else you need. 
  • Utilize the kids club. The kids club opens each morning and parents can drop off for as much or as little time as they would like. We would drop the kids off for an hour here and there. Kids club does not serve food, so you'll need to pick them up for meals. We didn't use it, but there is a late night program called Night Owls that parents can use for a fee from 10-1 am. Age groups are broken up, but while the ship is at port the kids have free range and are together in the club. We used the kids club as a way for our kids to have some time apart both from us, and from each other. The ages range from 2-17. The kids club is done by registration. Register early online. Don't wait until you get on the ship. 
  • Be advised that kids must be potty trained and not in a swim diaper to use the pools and water park. Also be aware that there are no bathtubs, only showers. 
  • We used these patches the entire time we were on board. They worked great and no one got sick. I did give the kids a dose of dramamine the night before we left, just in case, but I didn't need to keep giving it to them on the ship. Always at night so that it doesn't make them sleepy, even if it says non-drowsy. 
  • Sleeping arrangements for our family of four were a king size bed, a couch that turned into a bed and one pull down bed that turned into bunkbeds. We were comfortable in our room. 
  • I'm doing separate posts about excursions, but do be aware. Many other countries don't have car seat rules like America does. Additionally, many of the excursion offerings on our trip had age registrations that our three year old didn't meet. 
  • Check the happy hour deals at the Red Frog Bar. Also, do NOT miss the burritos from the Blue Iguana Cantina. 
  • Don't forget to pack fancy wear for the formal night of dinner. 

This was our first cruise with the kids. Having the kids club was great because it gave us some time to ourselves. Having a port right here in Norfolk means that we can easily hop on without travel time. Cruises are great family vacations because there is so much to do and having the kids' club gives parents some time to relax. In 2024 they will be redoing the cruise terminal, so no cruises will be coming or going, but in 2025 the ships will return and be here full time. We can't wait to go again! 

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