Costa Magica Cabins
Carnival ships have always touted generous-sized cabins, but with the Destiny-class builds (Costa Magica is on a Destiny-class platform), the accommodations got comfortable and classy as well as spacious.
Of the 1,358 passenger cabins on Costa Magica, 843 are outsides, and 62 percent of those have verandahs, plus there are no fewer than 64 suites, from junior to penthouse.
The standard rooms, both insides and outsides, have ample closet space, deep vanity/desk combos, mini-fridges and leather seating areas. Baths are spacious, with a vanity and shower (suites have tubs and some higher-level suites have whirlpool tubs). Outside cabins have a large single-pane window without that annoying bar down the middle to ruin the panorama.
Bath amenities are simply non-existent on the European cruises. There is a very small bar of soap at the sink and a gel-soap pump in the shower. That's it. No shampoo, no lotion and no face cloths either.
What the cabins do have, however, which is another anomaly for Europe-based cruises, is ice. A tall, sleek ice bucket is filled in the morning and again at night for turndown. Since Europeans generally don't use ice in either soft drinks or water, it's surprising, and for me, it was greatly welcomed. And speaking of turndown, it is not elaborate in any way: The covers are turned back, your ice bucket is filled, soiled towels are replaced and your curtains are closed. It's a lovely way to return to your cabin; don't expect chocolates or towel animals.
All cabins and suites have large televisions with programming in many languages, but while Italian gets at least four stations and French, German and Spanish three each, there is unfortunately only one in English. BBC World, which is similar to CNN Headline, got boring after the third day, and there was no English alternative. It looked like there were pay-per-view movies, but I could not figure out how much they cost (and they were not new ones, anyway). I did watch an incredible documentary about whales in German (the only words I understood were Beluga, Inuit and Greenland), but the visuals were so fantastic that the language didn't matter. I watched dubbed-in-Spanish and dubbed-in-French versions of ER and NYPD Blue respectively (Andy Sipowicz's voice had a high, whiny quality in French, which had me laughing), and I actually answered three questions correctly while watching an Italian-language quiz show.
Lighting and storage options are terrific in all of the standard cabins, with little bedside lamps, vanity lighting and a low-light Murano glass art piece affixed to the large mirror across from the bed.
Verandah cabins are identical to the standard outsides, with the addition of a nice-sized balcony framed by a Plexiglas barrier. Furnishings are contemporary Italian-designed cloth mesh, low and sleek. Unfortunately the low chairs cause the balcony rail to fall exactly at eye level for anyone of normal height. And instead of using sliding doors as on most ships with verandas, for some reason these ships are all built with doors that open outward. Perhaps the idea was to keep people from leaving them open, but that doesn't work, and the end result is constant noisy slamming of balcony doors as people go in and out of their cabins at all hours of the day and night.
Twenty-seven accommodations are configured for physically challenged guests (another anomaly in a European-centric ship) and the room numbers are even in Braille on all cabin doors.
A note about cabin selection: This ship is jammin' 24 hours a day while in Europe, so try to secure a cabin that is under other cabin space and not under public rooms or the Lido Deck area if possible. Cabin soundproofing is not very good, and you are likely to be awakened by pounding footsteps or scraping chairs at all hours. And, if you are contemplating the circular itinerary of Rome to Rome in an outside, try (as hard as you can) to get a starboard accommodation; the ship hugs the land, and the sights are often magnificent and are not visible from the port side.
Next: Costa Magica Dining
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