Our family of eleven ranging in age from 7 to the 70's cruised on the Carnival Magic in July of 2013. There were six adults and five children in our group and the level of cruising experience ranged from first-timers to long-time cruisers. This was, however, the first time on Carnival for all of us and was chosen to accommodate the children's school schedule.
My strongest opinion is that this ship is WONDERFUL for children. Our's ranged from 7 to 15 and everyone had a great time. The waterpark was a favorite - hard to get the children off the slides. The only "rule" we set prior to the cruise was that everyone had to appear at dinner every night and dinner became the highlight of our day due to staff that served us. They were so good to all of us that we felt like they were part of the family. Kudos to Damir and Dino!!
Additional thanks to Varman, the magician who came to our table in the dining room and thrilled the children with his skills.
Those with cruising experience were impressed by the size of the rooms and the ample storage. All of us liked the "split" bathrooms with double sinks and
"shrubs" (our term for the small tub/shower in the second bath area). We had a mixture of oceanview and inside rooms on level 1. Although that lower level would not typically have been my first choice, the stability at that level was good and we had no one with the slightest tinge of sea sickness.
We were also impressed with the food. It was very, very good and we all loved the "special" appetizer/appeteaser offered in the MDR every night. The children - and some of the adults - were happy to try something they had never chosen before. I would rank the food on Magic near the top of the list for best cruise food - and that was unexpected.
We took the ship's tour to Maya Key in Roatan. It was perfect for our family with beautiful beaches, great snorkeling, tasty lunch and even a small "zoo" area with mostly rescued animals. Well worth the price. In Belize we took the bus tour of Belize City and Altun Hu ruins. Although the ruins especially were very interesting, it was a very hot day and the bus ride - although air-conditioned - was a bit long for the younger children. In Cozumel the group split with some walking around the shops, some going to the beach and some (who have been there numerous times)staying on the ship.
The only "complaints" anyone in our group had were the layout of the ship (a very cut-up plan that made the flow between spaces difficult to travel or understand and which provided very few quiet common areas)and that the comics were TERRIBLE. The number of young people who appeared to be in their teens who were drunk was also a problem. One of our young (15)teen-agers reported that kids had smuggled liquor in the party on the last night and that a lot of them were very drunk. Carnival staff really need to police that more closely even if they still want to be a "Fun Ship"
As an older adult, I can see that Carnival is not going to become my cruise line of choice - unless I'm faced with keeping five grandchildren busy and happy for a week. In that case, I'll be back on the Magic!