The Carnival Magic's sister ship, the DREAM, had been our latest favorite in the Carnival fleet. We think the changes/enhancements made to the MAGIC have now made this new ship our favorite. We had the pleasure of watching this brand new ship arrive in Venice. We had heard that it would arrive the morning before our departure, so several of us hoofed it to St. Mark's Square and watched her come in. It was quite a treat.
In no particular order, the following discusses some of the positive changes that we noted:
• In our aft balcony on deck 8 there was a nice wide shelf along the big window. While we did not use this area, it does make for additional space to put things.
• The Red Frog Pub is a very nice addition and a much better use of the space where the art gallery had been on the DREAM. The pub serves bar food for $3.33 and has a full service bar which includes their own brewed beer. There are two entrances to the pub off Deck 5 (promenade deck) and it has a Caribbean-type theme. There is additional seating outside the pub on the port side, including a picnic table with bench seats on sliders. A photographer in the pub occasionally photographed guests and then quickly put the photos to show on a TV screen in the pub. It was great fun!
• The decor on this ship is much subdued from the usual Joe Farcus colors. There are a lot of soft blues and greens and we really liked the decor. The casino is still glitzy but very pretty.
• We were in the Southern Lights dining room and noted that it was opened up somewhat due to the elimination of the piano area which never seemed to get used on the other ships.
• The photo gallery has added computerized face-recognition stations where one can swipe their sign and sail card and view the professional photos that were taken on the ship. Guests can still look for their photos in the regular manner, but this feature is especially helpful in the later days of the cruise when guests are milling around trying to locate their photos among the thousands displayed along the walls. Guests can choose to pick their photos off the displays and pay for them in the usual manner or they can order them off the computer kiosks and pick them up the next day. The only glitch we found is that occasionally the face-recognition system thought we were other people and photos from folks we did not know were included in our album. Staff is available to assist in finding photos.
• According to the daily paper, the Fun Times (formerly Carnival Capers), one can arrange to have professional photos taken anywhere on the ship or in port. I don't know how much this costs, but it could be a nice enhancement.
• There are also photographic opportunities to have photos taken against a blank screen and then the staff can superimpose a particular scene. I don’t know what or how many scenes are offered, but we did one with a gondola that turned out very nice.
• This ship has an enhanced water park with the various slides (like on the DREAM) and also a big bucket that dumps water on folks below in the water park area. A horn alerts before the dump.
• There is a two-level miniature golf course as well as a rope walk which looked very neat. We did not use either one but it did seem to get quite a bit of action.
• The sushi bar sometimes offers “make your own salads” during sea days. Guests choose the ingredients and staff tosses the salad.
• Also on sea days staff set up an outdoor bar and eating venue that offered hot dogs, sliders, beef and/or pork tacos, and chicken quesadillas. This venue was located outside Ocean Plaza on the Starboard side.
• Ocean Plaza remains a hub of activity and is pretty much set us as on the DREAM. However, in the area between the specialty coffee place and the bar (where the special martini bar was located on the DREAM), the ship now offers delicious looking small snacks. We did not patronize these snacks (just how much can one eat?), but they looked wonderful.
No more review space--will try to continue