Carnival Magic's cabins are surprisingly generous in space and storage; families and groups traveling together will also be pleased with the sheer diversity of options available. Even the smallest cabins (the 719 inside units) have 185 square feet of space, which is the same amount as a balcony cabin (although the 851 latter units have outdoor space ranging from 35 to 75 square feet). Ocean-views, family cabins and suites are also available, giving passengers many choices, depending on their wallet.
Cabin decor in most cabins is a mesh of comfort, color and clean lines. White duvets with a satiny brown skirt give beds -- a queen that can be combined into two twins -- a boutique hotel vibe, while pleasing maroon carpeting and a peach-colored sofa compliment the tropical flower paintings that adorn the walls. An Art Deco trim surrounds the entire room.
Storage is more than adequate, with plenty of drawers and spacious closets (remember, it's the tropics so you aren't packing a ton of clothes). There's a wide window ledge in balcony cabins so the person on that side of the bed can use that for essentials as well. Each bed has a night table and there's a wide sofa and table facing the mirror. The hair dryer is permanently attached in the seating area's pullout drawer. Most cabins are equipped with two outlets -- sadly, not next to the bed -- and the razor-only one in the bathroom is well hidden in a top corner.
A 24-inch flat-screen television (larger in suites) includes news stations such as CNN, the Cartoon Network, pay-per-view movies and several Carnival channels that cover everything from ship activities to your Sail & Sign statement. Look for the Bow Channel, with its 24/7 live feed showing the bow of the ship, as well as the map channel that shows you exactly where you are. You can also order room service or shore excursions via the TV, but it's much easier to pick up the (exceedingly cheap-looking) phone.
Lighting is great, with round-the-room, well-disguised fluorescents and other individual lights. Amenities include a safe and a mini-bar, where you can stock your own bottled water (bought through the line), soda (each person can carry on a 12 pack of cans only) and wine (one bottle per passenger).
The bathrooms are nothing special, with most offering showers only -- and featuring those cheap, clingy curtains that seem to have a mind of their own. Our shower had shampoo and liquid soap dispensers filled with generic something or other, the only toiletries provided. The makeup mirror with a magnified side is a nice touch, as are the surprisingly soft towels.
Carnival allows you to choose whether you want your room serviced in the morning, in the evening or both. Depending on your steward, you'll come back to a charming array of towel animals. We found our steward friendly and adaptable to our needs, bringing us ice without asking.
Interior: At 185 square feet, the 719 Interior cabins on Carnival Magic are surprisingly spacious. You can book several variations of interior cabins, from double occupancy to rooms with pulldown bunk beds.
Oceanview: Carnival Magic's 221 Ocean View cabins range from 185 to 220 square feet (most with a 4-by-3-foot window.) This category is also of special interest to families, as Carnival Magic has 193 "family quint" cabins that can sleep up to five, as the staterooms are configured with two regular twins, two bunk-style beds that hang from the wall and a sofa that converts to a twin. These quint cabins also have two bathrooms -- one with a sink, toilet and shower, and the other with a tub-shower combo and sink. Note to parents: If you are sleeping five people in the cabin, the two twin beds cannot be pushed together to form a queen.
Balcony: Carnival Magic has 851 Balcony cabins with 185 square feet of space and private verandas ranging from 35 to 75 square feet. Balconies are furnished with comfortable furniture, typically two high-backed chairs of tightly webbed plastic over tubular aluminum, and a small cocktail table.
If you are looking for privacy, the ship has 110 Cove Balcony rooms on Deck 2 located under the lifeboats, so other passengers can't see the balconies from public spaces or from balconies higher up. The cabins in this category are cheaper than a regular balcony cabin and are a good choice for those who like privacy and who don't mind some sea spray. Conversely, balcony cabins on Deck 6 will be directly above the promenade deck and will hear noise from the bars at night and restaurant venues during the day.
Families can also take advantage of the dozens of connecting staterooms -- mostly balconies, but also some interior and ocean-view cabins. Just keep in mind that the doors connecting these cabins might as well not exist and if you want privacy, these are not the cabins for you, as you'll hear everything going on next door. Awkward for strangers, yes, but possibly even more awkward for couples traveling together.
Suites: For a splurge, there are 54 suites -- including the 345-square-foot Grand Suite, with an 85-square-foot balcony; and the 275-square-foot Ocean Suites and Junior Suites, both with balcony (Ocean Suite balconies are 65 square feet, while Junior Suite balconies are 35 square feet).
Junior Suites have a walk-in closet with a vanity, a full bathroom with a combo shower/whirlpool tub and double sinks. They can sleep up to three. The main perk of an Ocean Suite is the larger balcony; otherwise, the rooms are identical, although you can book an ocean suite for four people. Both of these suites receive VIP embarkation.
The ship's top cabin, the Grand Suite, while spacious, is still not a "true suite" with two separate rooms. They have the same features as the other suites, with a walk-in closet with a vanity, a full bathroom with a combo shower/whirlpool tub and double sinks. Grand Suites can be booked for two, three or four.
Spa Cabins: The Cloud 9 Spa staterooms and suites -- which include priority spa appointments and free fitness classes -- are on Decks 12 and 14 adjacent to the spa. They come in a variety of configurations, including Interior, Ocean View, Balcony and Suite. Aft-view extended balcony cabins are situated out of the wind and have a 60-square-foot balcony, though prepare to pay more for that vista.