Wednesday, March 26, 2014


12 Fun Family Surprises on the Carnival Magic

The Carnival Cruise Line is known for it’s amazing ability to entertain families with children.  And after a week aboard the Carnival Magic, filled with over 800 children, it’s easy to see why they are the best cruise line for families.

Each day, there was so much planned for kids (and parents), that we had to pick and choose exactly what we wanted to do, even missing a few things, because there just wasn’t enough time in each day.  Seriously. The variety of choices were incredible - from paper airplane contests and digital scavenger hunts, to pool parties and amazing entertainment, we had fun!!

Some of the activities we did, I expected - we loved playing in the water park, eating fancy meals, and seeing the amazing towel creations our steward came up with each night.

But I was pleasantly surprised by so much more!

12 Amazing Family Experiences on the Carnival Magic

First Dance with my 4-year-old Each evening, after dinner was served in the Formal Dining Room, we were serenaded by the wait staff with fun music and dancing.  Some nights, one of the waiters would sing to us - he was awesome - and invite everyone to dance.  My 4 year old hopped up each evening and asked me to dance. Sigh.

Chicken Feet! One evening, my younger boys wanted to go up to Camp Carnival (that was the paper airplane night!) and my daughter wanted to hang with us.  So we found a table in the Red Frog Pub and played dominos for a few hours.  It was fun for the 3 of us to laugh and play games with no distractions.  The ship's library has cabinets full of games to "check out" too.

Stuffed Souvenirs My kids love to create cool souvenirs while on vacation, so making a stuffed bear to dress in Carnival clothes was right up my kids alley!  This Beary Cuddly Workshop was offered on Sea Days in Camp Carnival.

Right Foot This Time! We did a lot of dancing on this trip - how could you not on the "Fun Ship"? One evening, we joined a Caribbean-themed party on the Lido Deck where the Cruise Directors led a fun hour of non-stop dancing.  My hubby wanted no part in it, but my 13-year old did!  And of course, she laughed how how bad I was with all the dances.  Gangham-what? Cha-Cha-who?

That's my Preschooler under that cascade of water and he's not happy!
Those that get soaked together, stay together? Nothing like watching Dad play in the water park with his kids.....until he tricks the 4 year old into standing under the water bucket!!  We had even more fun all standing under it together and trying to capture it on video - I think we could probably win some kind of award for standing under it the longest.

Comedy is for Kids too! I loved that the Carnival Magic brought in 4 different comedians during our trip.  And they offered both family shows and adult shows.  And parents, they were most definitely adult shows - no kiddos!! But we took our 13 year old to her first comedy show and she loved it - laughed her head off! It was awesome!

All you can eat Ice Cream for the WIN
But it's ONLY 11:30 pm??!! One night, I found myself with the kids watching a movie by the pool and eating not one but TWO ice cream 11:30 pm. Was I tired? Sure.  But when else can you do that with your kids??

Even my pickiest eater found something to eat on the formal dining menu
Grilled Chicken Please. I got a kick out of watching my 11 year old son order from the formal dining room menu.  He ordered pretty much the same thing every night, but it was a hoot to see him acting so fancy and grown up!

Tableside Magic
How did you do that?  Each evening at dinner, a table side magician would come by with some pretty incredible magic tricks that amazed my boys.  They were entranced and would ask him to do it again and again, trying to figure it out.  They would even spend the next day analyzing how he did it.

I can make a stingray Mom! One afternoon, my son and I took a towel folding class to learn how to make some of the cool creatures we would find in our room each night.  We even bought the book to try it all at home.  One evening, we came back to the room to find a towel stingray with a note informing us that our son had proudly made it for us! Now I'm investing in a case of white towels.....

One of many attempts 
Don't look down.  Really, don't look down when you are on the sky course high above the seas, it will make you dizzy.  I know by experience.  This momma attempted the sky course with my kids wearing only a bathing suit cover-up.  It was attractive (not) and scary.  There will not be any pictures to share.  I went really fast.  But my kids loved it and did it almost every day.  What a fun option!  Right below it was the mini golf course, where my 4 year old wanted to start his day each morning.

Mini Golf EVERY DAY!

Smile. Laugh. Relax. Enjoy. We did this. Lots of this.  And it made our vacation - the kids got along, I coaxed great one-on-one conversations out of them, got terrific and spontaneous smiles out of them, and had one of the most memorable vacations.  Was that a surprise?  Not at all.

Formal Night Selfies are the BEST!

Other great Cruise Articles you may enjoy:
50 Tips for Cruising with Family
An Open Letter to the Carnival Magic Employees

My family and I were invited to take a cruise on the Carnival Magic.  I was not financially compensated for this post.  All opinions of Carnival Cruise Lines are strictly my own based on my experience. 


Rajlakshmi said...

wow that looks so much fun :) Loved the last photo a lot.

Tonya {The Traveling Praters} said...

My kids love to go on cruises. They are really hoping that their dad and I will surprise them with one this year. It looks like you had a blast, and some of the things that you really loved were the things I love too. The towel creations are always a favorite, the free ice cream is something my teens will never forget (yeah, go figure- we go on a cruise and they remember the ice cream) and the family friendly comedy club was something we could all enjoy.