Carnival Magic

Carnival Cruise Line

Ship information

Carnival Magic

About Carnival Magic

When Carnival Magic appeared on the scene in 2011, the cruise industry sat up and took notice. Although the 3,690-passenger ship wasn't first in its class – that honor fell to

Carnival Dream

– the vessel boasted several firsts for the Fun Ship line, including Cucina del Capitano Italian specialty restaurant, the RedFrog Pub and its signature Thirsty Frog Red Ale, the SportSquare outdoor recreation area and the first ropes course at sea.

Carnival Magic Deck Plans Pack in Tons of Family-Friendly Entertainment Options

More than a later, the Carnival Magic cruise ship may no longer be the fleet's most innovative, yet it holds up as a floating destination that offers something for everyone. A wide range of cabin types, including family "quints" that fit five people, make it perfect for the packs of friends and family we saw onboard (in matching T-shirts, natch). Dining may not be fancy, but you can choose from the key cruise food groups: burgers, burrito, brats and barbecue, as well as Asian, Indian, deli and pizza -- at least at lunch. The number of choices falls significantly at dinner.

Activities, too, are designed for a wide range of interests – and there are lots of things to do on Carnival Magic. If you like games, Carnival Magic has you covered; besides group participation favorites like 

Hasbro the Game Show

 and Liars Club, the daily program was packed with options like Yahtzee, Scattergories, Clue and a Jenga-type tower game in the lobby (plus shuffleboard in the RedFrog Pub and pickup pool, Ping-Pong, beanbag and mini-golf options around the ship). Dance lessons, casino tournaments, spa specials, a robust kids’ club program -- Carnival Magic throws it all at the wall -- and passengers respond with enthusiasm.

All this stuff, though, comes with a price – and that's lines. On our summer sailing, with the ship at well more than double occupancy (Carnival Magic has a maximum capacity of 4,724 passengers), the queues were persistent, to the point where the crush cut into our enjoyment. Thirty-minute waits (or more!) for popular eateries, like Guy's Burgers and Mongolian Wok, were the norm, not the exception. Tickets for 

Punchliner Comedy

 performances were gone hours before the show. Serenity Deck clamshells were claimed by 8:30 a.m. Getting off in port for excursions felt like a blood sport. Even trivia sessions were jam-packed, with teams of eight monopolizing the tables, forcing smaller groups to stand or even sit on the floor.

So where did we find our Zen? Attending the daily RedFrog Pub trivia quiz -- it's cumulative, so you play with the same people for the entire cruise for a more intimate experience. Sticking to off-hours for dining and getting up early for morning coffee helped, as did making Deck 5, with its four hot tubs and relatively underutilized lounge chairs, our sunning headquarters. Despite the sheer number of people onboard, we found the vast majority spent money on drinks instead of for-fee offerings so opening up the wallet a bit for specialty restaurants and the wonderfully expansive Cloud 9 spa also put the crowds at a distance. The cheer of the crew also kept us going; with a room steward that brought us copious amounts of ice and towel animals, as well as an outgoing entertainment staff, it was hard to stay irritated for too long.

Do we believe in Magic? After a week onboard, we'd answer with a quantified yes. As long as you pack your patience and are prepared to shift your routine slightly -- or conversely, see beating the lines as a game in its own right -- you'll emerge rested and relaxed, with plenty of Fun Ship memories. And really, what else can you ask for?

Carnival Magic vs. Carnival Breeze and Mariner of the Seas

Many passengers struggle to decide between Carnival Magic and Carnival Breeze when looking at Caribbean itineraries. Both are Dream-class ships, which means they’re similar in size and offerings. However, Breeze has a cuter color palette in cabins and features an additional for-fee restaurant, Bonsai Sushi. Since the differences are pretty small, it will be down to price for most passengers.

Those looking for a comparable itinerary and family-friendly vibe without the crowds are often drawn to Royal Caribbean’s

Mariner of the Seas

, which is slightly bigger and carries fewer passengers. Cabins on Mariner are more stylish and family entertainment is somewhat more impressive, but prices can be a little bit higher on Royal Caribbean’s cruise liner.

Health & Safety on Carnival Magic

Carnival Cruise Line is mandating a fully vaccinated policy for those 5 and older. Within the limits of the CDC's definition of a "vaccinated" cruise consisting of 95 percent all passengers and crew, vaccination exemptions are possible with preapproval, including for children.

Carnival ships are sailing with reduced overall capacity, currently around 70 percent.

Before Boarding
· Proof of completed vaccination at least 14 days prior to sailing for over-5s
· Negative PCR or antigen test within 72 hours of embarkation for vaccinated passengers 2 and older (48 hours for unvaccinated passengers)
· Pre-embarkation online health questionnaire
· Online check-in and arrival appointment required
· Masks required for all guests over age 2 during the entire embarkation and debarkation process, and while on any form of transportation.

Onboard
· Masks are no longer required in most areas of the ships. Passengers will need to wear a mask in the medical center, during embarkation and disembarkation at the home port and during port calls and on transportation, such as water shuttles and indoors on any Carnival tour. Local regulations may also require wearing of masks.
· Additional screenings, testing, and contact tracing as needed
· No capacity limits in bars or restaurants
· Cabin service once daily (rather than twice), with guests allowed to choose morning or evening
· Bar and restaurant menus, The Fun Times, and safety drill are provided via QR codes and the Hub App
· Sanitizing and hand-washing stations all over the ship
· No supervised Camp Ocean children's activities for unvaccinated children ages 5 to 11.

Off the ship
· Vaccinated guests may participate in Carnival operated tours or explore independently
· Some ports, including Grand Cayman, Belize, and ports in Jamaica may require additional testing or screenings before disembarking
· Masks may be required on tours, in some ports, and in some businesses

Cabins

Carnival Magic has 38 cabin types available

Inside Cabins

12 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

12 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

12 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

12 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

12 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

12 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

12 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

12 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

12 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

12 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

12 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

12 Inside types to choose from

Outside Cabins

7 Outside types to choose from

Outside Cabins

7 Outside types to choose from

Outside Cabins

7 Outside types to choose from

Outside Cabins

7 Outside types to choose from

Outside Cabins

7 Outside types to choose from

Outside Cabins

7 Outside types to choose from

Outside Cabins

7 Outside types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

14 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

14 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

14 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

14 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

14 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

14 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

14 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

14 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

14 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

14 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

14 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

14 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

14 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

14 Balcony types to choose from

Suite Cabins

5 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

5 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

5 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

5 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

5 Suite types to choose from

Deck Plans

14 deck images available

Activities and Entertainment

Like the line's other ships, Carnival Magic takes pride in having something going almost every minute, particularly in the evenings. From

Dive-In Movies

to production shows to raucous music trivia sessions led by the cruise director, there's something for everyone onboard.

Theater and Shows on Carnival Magic

The Showtime Theatre serves as the main arena for Playlist Production shows. Try to see at least one of these spirited 30-minute, song and dance music revues; we particularly enjoyed 88 Keys, built around the songs of piano players like Elton John and Billy Joel. Spanning three decks, the theater has comfy seats, good sight lines and relatively prompt drink service. Two production shows are held nightly. During the day, the theater hosts a morning show with the cruise director, bingo and other activities.

Daily Fun and Things to Do on Carnival Magic

Trivia nuts will be pleased, as sea day games begin at 9 a.m. in Ocean Plaza. We particularly enjoyed the extensive array of themed sessions such as Harry Potter and Dr. Seuss. Ocean Plaza is also the space for group games such as Yahtzee, Scattergories, Connect Four, beanbag toss and Trivial Pursuit.

Other activities you'll find on sea days include Thriller dance classes, art auctions, ice carving demonstrations and movies. At the pool, there's the famous Hairy Chest contest, drink specials and more; music plays continuously on the Lido Stage from 10 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.

If you don't want to get off the ship on port days, you'll still find trivia and other activities on non-sea days. Just don't expect the offerings to be as extensive or creative.

Nightlife on Carnival Magic

As befits a Fun Ship, the place keeps rocking long after nightfall. Dodge the numerous photo backdrops to stroll through Deck 5, which is where the bulk of the entertainment venues are located. Music plays in several lounges, evening sail-aways and glow parties take place on the Lido Deck and the disco goes long into the night. Expect crowds wherever you go.

The Hat Trick Casino is located in the main artery running through Deck 5, so unless you go down a deck to pass through (and avoid the smoke), you'll walk through at some point. Gamblers and smokers congregate at the sport bar in the middle. There are hundreds of slot machines, automated Texas Hold'em tables and gaming tables that cover roulette, craps, blackjack and poker. Raffles, draws and tournaments take place daily.

Carnival Magic Bars and Lounges

It wouldn't be a Fun Ship without a ton of bars, most with their own special atmosphere and crowd. Maybe it's the fact there were so many families onboard on our sailing, but we found people to generally be on the happy side of buzzed, with no obvious outbursts or overly drunken displays.

Magic Lobby (Deck 3, midship): At the Magic Bar in the atrium, you can listen to everything from salsa music to a classical pianist perform from the stage suspended over the space. This is also one of the biggest bars on the ship (it wraps under the spiral staircase connecting the mid decks), so it's one of the best places to people-watch. The highlight here is the music trivia evenings held by the cruise director, who gets the entire atrium singing along to Motown and 80s hits.

Hat Trick Bar (Deck 5, midship): The casino bar draws smokers and other gamblers taking a break from slots and table games.

RedFrog Pub (Deck 5, midship): Now a Carnival staple, the RedFrog Pub debuted on Magic. The L-shaped bar features wonderfully kitschy island decor, tropical drinks in fishbowls, Carnival's own Thirsty Frog Red Ale (you can buy it in group-friendly 100-ounce glass tubes and a rotating roster of musicians (mostly of the reggae or country variety) that turn an already top-notch concept into Margaritaville, generally from late afternoon to midnight. There's also a nice patio area for snacks and people-watching, as well as an outdoor area with swinging chairs.

Alchemy Bar (Deck 5, midship): Another Carnival favorite, the

Alchemy Bar

features mixologists in lab coats who whip up cocktail "prescriptions;" the Cucumber Sunrise is our favorite. Mixology lessons are usually held here once per cruise.

Plaza Cafe (Deck 5, midship):  This coffee bar serves a la carte priced lattes, cappuccinos and espresso drinks, as well as gelato and huge slices of cake. It's most popular in the mornings, when lines form for caffeine fixes.

Vibe Nightclub (Deck 5, midship): Every mega-ship needs a disco -- and as nightclubs go, Vibe is a pretty hot time. Special Michael Jackson and country dance hours draw different age groups and when the club music starts, you can assume you won't be alone if you stumble in in the wee hours. Sadly for those of us who see dancing as an essential cardio activity, smoking is permitted.

Play It Again (Deck 5, aft): Play It Again is a well-attended enclave with Carnival's signature baby grand piano embedded in the bar, giant disco-ball-ish light fixtures and martinis at the ready. If you like sing-alongs, this is your place; we found the staff here particularly outgoing and the sets go until 1 a.m.

**Spotlight Lounge (Deck 5, aft): ** Essentially the ship's second theater, the Spotlight Lounge seats 400 and rotates between Punchliner comedians and karaoke. Family-friendly fare from the former is generally available about 7:30 on select nights, with raunchier material strutted out after the kids are in bed, or at least in their own clubs. The adult sets begin at 9:30 and are so well-attended, the ship makes tickets available an hour before the show at the Vibe nightclub. Get there early, as lines form. During the day, Spotlight is a large quiet space to read or catch up on e-mail.

RedFrog Rum Bar (Deck 10, midship): Anchoring one side of the Lido Deck pool, the

RedFrog Rum Bar

and its cousin, the BlueIguana Tequila Bar below) is pretty self-explanatory. Daiquiris, rum runners and other tropical drinks are served all day.

BlueIguana Tequila Bar (Deck 10, midship): Opposite of the RedFrog Rum Bar at the Lido pool, the

BlueIguana Tequila Bar

serves margaritas and other Mexican-inspired drinks.

Tides Bar (Deck 10, aft): Although it's located at the aft pool instead of the Lido, the Tides Bar is still a busy place; this area of the ship is usually full by midmorning. We found it the best spot right around Happy Hour, as the families trundle off for early dining.

SportSquare Bar (Deck 12, midship): Located in the middle of the SportSquare complex, this bar serves alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks to the busy people playing mini-golf, doing the ropes course and more.

Serenity Bar (Deck 15, forward): If you're lucky enough to snag a clamshell or lounge in Carnival Magic's adult-only enclave, this is your bar. We appreciated the flavored waters that changed daily, as well as the creative drinks that the pleasant bar staff offered (pina colada in a coconut, anyone?) A caveat: Because it's at the front of the ship, the Serenity deck can be extremely windy, so keep a tight grasp on your drink to keep it from spilling.

Carnival Magic Outside Recreation

Pools and Hot Tubs on Carnival Magic

We were pleasantly surprised by the amount of hot tubs on Carnival Magic. All in all, the ship has 10 – and that's not counting the thalassotherapy pool in the thermal suite. It almost, but not quite, makes up for the two teeny tiny pools.

The ship's "main" Lido Deck pool is called the Beach Pool -- and it's small for a ship this size. The most popular seats here are the benches placed under thatched palapas, where you can dip your feet in the water while remaining in the shade (though you'll probably be sitting butt cheek to butt cheek during prime sun hours). Outdoor movies and concerts are shown on the 12-by-22-foot screen that overlooks this pool, and there's usually a DJ or musical performance going on.

Pro tip: If you want to watch the action without feeling cramped, try to land one of the wonderful orange-padded loungers on the mezzanine one deck up. You still get to take in the scene, but it's far less peopled, it's shady because there's a deck above you, and the chairs are much more comfortable.

The Tides Pool at the aft has similar constraints. While aft pools on other ships are traditionally commandeered by adults, on Carnival Magic, we found this area dominated by families and splashing children. Again, the pool is minuscule for a ship this size.

SkyCourse and Water Slides on Carnival Magic

When Carnival Magic debuted in 2011, it introduced

SportSquare

to the line. Located in the ship's aft, the area comprises a two-level mini-golf course; outdoor cardio stations (not quite so successful, but kudos for trying); basketball courts; the SkyTrack running course (seven laps equal 1 mile); and the first-at-sea

SkyCourse

.

The SkyCourse is an elevated ropes course in which passengers are fitted with a harness that clips to a track, then they must navigate eight segments with various degrees of difficulty. You can choose between the easy or difficult route, but . . . it's not for the faint of heart. Kids and many adults whiz through it after a few practice rounds, but if you're afraid of heights, have iffy balance or don't like the idea of dozens of people watching you panic, the course isn't for you. We found it generally wait-free and worth the effort, but there were some who told us, "Never again."

The young and young at heart will love

WaterWorks,

the ship's water park. We have to give special props to the Power Drencher, a massive bucket that holds 300 gallons of water. Every few minutes it refills, a bell rings and its contents are dumped on folks waiting to be properly soaked below. One perhaps unintentional benefit: The thing sprays water everywhere, so if you're on one of the loungers two decks below near the Beach Pool, you get a fine mist while you're broiling in the sun. Sweet.

Other WaterWorks components include a splash park for the little ones, the Twister Waterslide (faster and more furious than you'd expect) and the DrainPipe -- another slide, but you end up spinning around in a funnel like water swirling around a toilet.

Sun Decks on Carnival Magic

A rule of thumb on cruise ships is the higher up you go away from the main pool, the more loungers you'll be able to find. That's true on Magic, where you'll need to arrive early to score a primo lido spot. Posted signs warn chair hogs that towels will be removed after 40 minutes, but we didn't see this enforced.

We sought refuge at times at the adults-only

Serenity area

, which has its own bar and seating, including shaded clamshell loungers and hammocks. The two whirlpools here are nice places to sit for a while and chat; we found them relatively social. Entry to Serenity is free, but the atmosphere is not always perfectly serene: Because it's forward, the area gets an extraordinary amount of wind. We almost lost our flip-flops several times, and saw numerous possessions blowing around. Bring something heavy to keep your things anchored.

But our main kudos go to the mostly undiscovered outdoor space on Deck 5, which has four hot tubs and a wealth of sun loungers. These Lanai tubs are not only larger than the hot tubs at the Beach Pool and Tides Pool, they are the quietest; we found ourselves the only occupant more than once. The Lanai area also has rows of sun loungers that were chair hog free and had easy access to lunch options like Guy's Pig & Anchor BBQ, the RedFrog Pub and the salad bar. Winner winner, chicken dinner!

Services and Wi-Fi on Carnival Magic

Guest Services and the Shore Excursion deck are located on Deck 3, inside an atrium that marks longtime Carnival ship interior designer Joe Farcus' last commission for the line. So there's a heaping dose of neon, mirrored surfaces and other elements that are a cross between glam and wackadoodle (we didn't know whether to admire or fear the eyeball-ish orbs all around). Elsewhere in the ship, though, the decor is relatively tame and tropical; we particularly liked the quirky prints in the stairwells.

We were surprised by the quality of books, including literary best-sellers, and games found in the ship's library on Deck 4\. It's located right outside the Northern Lights dining room and is a cozy and quiet place to get away.

The Gallery on the Way holds several Champagne art auctions, but if you want to create your own masterpieces (starring you, of course), you'll want to stop by the Photo Gallery on Deck 4\. You can still ogle at the photos of other sunburned cruisers lining the walls, but a facial-recognition system allows you to use your Sail & Sign card to find your smiling face at the Photo Finder kiosk. It makes things easy, though if you like viewing hundreds of other people's photos to find your own, you may be disappointed.

Decks 4 and 5 have clusters of stores around the atrium, selling jewelry, booze, clothes and trinkets. Awash in red and white,

Cherry on Top

is a cheery boutique that peddles candy by the pound, candied apples to die for (and you might, considering the amount of calories each one contains), flowers, T-shirts and Carnival tchotchkes.

For those who need or want to stay connected -- i.e., everyone these days -- Carnival Magic offers several ways to do so. Internet FunHubs, located in several areas around the ship, have desktop computers for use. Far more people buy Wi-Fi packages. A social plan, where you can access Facebook, Instagram and other social media sites, costs $40 for the cruise. A Value package, which allows you to access more apps and sites but not Skype or streaming services like Spotify has one cost, while the Premium package is supposed to give you a better experience. We'll leave you with the caveat that even the Premium plan encounters slow speeds and download times. All packages only include one device online at a time.

Before you board, be sure to download the Carnival Hub app. The free app lists schedules, opening times, maps and more. There's also a chat feature for a fee that allows you to communicate with friends and family onboard, although we heard from many that messages came through on sometimes ludicrous time delays.

Coin-operated launderettes and ironing rooms are available throughout the ship. If you want to delegate that task, the ship has extra-fee valet wash and fold services.

Smoking is fairly restricted throughout the ship's public areas. Outside, there are several designated smoking areas, including a space on Deck 5 at Ocean Plaza (it's also the only area that allows cigars). Inside, the Vibe nightclub and sections of the Hat Trick Casino are the only venues that allow smoking.

Dining

Carnival is known for a "good grub" approach to dining, and Carnival Magic lives up to the reputation. Food is tasty, not fancy -- and there's plenty of free choices, particularly at lunch; you won't have to shell out extra money to appease picky eaters.

Burgers, burritos and barbecue all take center stage with their own named restaurants -- and that's not even including the expansive buffet with its Indian and Mongolian offshoots (we'd like to see more of these options open for dinner, however -- the buffet options diminish dramatically in the evening). In total, there are 9 free restaurants and 5 for-fee options on Carnival Magic. Restaurant menus range from Mongolian to pizza and steakhouse and pub favorites.

If you are more of a foodie, don't fret. Carnival's steakhouse is one of the better values at sea; go on the first night and you'll nab bargain bottles of wine that can sustain an oenophile through an entire cruise. Carnival Magic also has a chef's table, usually offered once or twice per cruise, where you eat in the kitchen galley. For those wondering if there is a captain’s dinner on Carnival Magic, the answer is yes and no – it’s more of a toast delivered by the Captain in the Atrium before the first formal dinner of the cruise.

We were a little surprised that in this era of food allergies, the menu in the main dining room didn't note options that were gluten-free or vegan. But the company's website encourages anyone with dietary needs, be they vegetarian, low-cholesterol, low-fat, low-carbohydrates, low-sugar and gluten-free, to let the ship know their needs. Speak to the headwaiter or dining room host so they can help you plan your meals. The ship carries gluten-free pizza dough, pasta, bread for deli sandwiches and hamburgers buns, as well as cake, available upon request. A gluten-free beer, Estrella Daura Damm, is available. Prepackaged kosher meals are available, but you must let the cruise line know two weeks in advance.

Free Restaurants on Carnival Magic

**Northern Lights and Southern Lights (Decks 3, 4 and 5): **The main restaurants on Carnival Magic are the primary spots for most dinners, and you can grab some other meals there too. Expect a crush at both, with people lined up for their dining times. Southern Lights has 1,248 seats and is located aft, while Northern Lights has 948 seats and is located midship off the atrium forward. Dinner is served in two seatings at both, with the flexible Your Time Dining program available in Northern Lights (if you come at prime dining hours, expect a 20- to 30-minute wait). Both rooms are lovely enough (kudos to those humongous chandeliers), but we'd give Southern Lights the edge due to its walls of windows; it's particularly fetching during the daily tea time (held around 3 p.m.). The second floor of Northern Lights, in fact, is adjacent to a busy walkway, so you're going to be sharing your meal with plenty of gawkers if you draw the short straw and have to sit near the glass.

The Carnival Magic main dining room menu is varied, with something for everyone. However, food was about average, with no real standouts or misses. The American Table menu on Carnival Magic gives a modern twist to classics -- the Caesar salad has a kale version, for example -- and on port days, you'll find a locally inspired drink, app and entree choice. A typical menu might include starters like prosciutto ruffles, shrimp cocktail, beet carpaccio, cannelloni, cream of broccoli soup and minestrone. Entree choices might be salmon cake; Southern fried chicken; linguini with Italian sausage, bell peppers and mushrooms; barbecue pork spareribs, grilled tofu steak and a featured vegetarian dish like lentils with basmati rice and papadum. A more adventurous food item, like braised ox tail or escargot, is also offered. Side dishes on order include mac and cheese, creamed spinach, baked potato, ratatouille, broccoli with carrots and onions or French fries.

Always available grill options include swordfish steak; grilled beef tenderloin, roast chicken breast and pork chop with caramelized onions and potato mash.

On elegant nights (when the dinner menu on Carnival Magic switches to American Feast and white cloths are put on the tables for a more upscale touch) Maine broiled lobster makes an appearance, although you can always pay a surcharge on other nights for steakhouse items (other extra fee options include filet mignon and New York strip loin). Dessert options include Carnival favorites like chocolate melting cake and bitter and blanc bread pudding, as well as a cheese plate and ice creams.

In addition to dinner, breakfast and lunch are also served in Southern Lights, and seating is open. Early eaters have a wide range of options, from cereals and baked goods to such hot entrees as omelets and pancakes. Choose from breakfast sides like sausage, bacon and hash browns as well.

For lunch, the sunny dining room dishes out favorites like club sandwiches, Caesar salads, pasta dishes and burgers. The popular Sea Day brunch takes place on -- you guessed it -- sea days. Expect breakfast favorites like huevos rancheros and eggs Benedict, alongside pasta, salmon and a Bloody Mary bar.

Lido Marketplace (Deck 10): With its slippery floors and ever-present lines, Carnival Magic's sprawling buffet is a challenge for the crowd-averse. Still, it's the place to go if you're looking for choice. From early in the morning you can grab breakfast (eggs, bacon, yogurt, waffles -- all the usual suspects). It turns over to lunch with a variety of hot and cold options such as sandwiches, carving stations, salad bars and desserts, most of which change daily. The fare is similar during dinner, although you'll find more hot entrees and options such as burgers in the evening. Late-night snacks are also available here.

The Lido has some small standalone kiosks that deserve mention in their own right. Fans of Asian cuisine keep the 

Mongolian Wok

 busy during lunch; expect to wait 45 minutes or more (we really wish Carnival Magic would keep this open through dinner). Fans of spicy Indian food will want to make a stop at Tandoor, outside the door near the aft Tides Pool; we particularly enjoyed the clay-pot chicken and pea masala. Tandoor has outdoor seating, as well as its own coffee/water station; it's also open for dinner. And finally, cool down with a stop at the Swirls station for frozen yogurt and soft serve, available 24/7.

**Ocean Plaza (Deck 5): **Set up conveniently near the site of morning and afternoon trivia games, this counter performs a variety of functions. In the morning, it's the place for a light breakfast, with eggs, grits, cereal and oatmeal available, as well as juice and coffee. At lunch, premade salads and other light bites are available. 

Salad Bar (Deck 5): A made-to-order salad bar is set up every sea day in the space between the Ocean Cafe and the patio seating for the Red Frog Pub. Perhaps the best option for those who crave greens during the sailing. Wraps are also available.

Guy's Pig & Anchor Smokehouse (Deck 5): Guy Fieri's second onboard outpost, the Carnival Magic’s 

Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse

, is located outside on the Promenade Deck; if you don't already know where it is, you might have some trouble finding it. It's worth seeking out, not only for the pork butt and andouille sausage, but yummy sides like coleslaw, potato salad, baked beans and Mac Daddy Mac and Cheese.

**BlueIguana Cantina (Deck 10): **The lunchtime tacos, taco salads and burritos might be the main draw, but we love this kiosk outside the main buffet for morning huevos rancheros, breakfast burritos and arepas. Don't forget to load up on toppings at 

BlueIguana Cantina

's salsa bar (alas, guacamole free).

**Guy's Burger Joint (Deck 10): **The lines for this shipboard essential begin well before opening time and if you get there even 10 minutes later, you'll be standing on the other side of the Lido Deck (we found the best time to avoid the crush here is embarkation day or port days, or postponing until mid-afternoon). Still, it's worth braving the crowd at least once – on Carnival Magic, burgers and fries at 

Guy's Burger Joint

 are truly delicious.

Pizzeria del Capitano (Deck 10): Located in the aft near the Tides Bar, this pizzeria serves up hearty, if somewhat uninspiring, slices at all hours. Open 24/7.

Pasta Bar (Deck 11): One of the secrets of Carnival Magic is this free pasta bar, held during lunch in the Cucina del Capitano space.

SeaDogs Hot Dog Cart (Deck 12): No need to interrupt your mini-golf game to eat. This small cart has free hot dogs, with or without relish, right in the middle of SportSquare.

**Room Service: **Carnival Magic offers complimentary continental breakfast delivered to the room in the morning, including pastries, bagels and cream cheese, yogurt, cereal and fruit juices.

Fee and Specialty Dining on Carnival Magic

Prime Steakhouse (Deck 5, aft); prix fixe: Carnival's 

steakhouse

 is a relative bargain and offers a nice atmosphere besides. The steaks, served with a choice of sauces, are the main attraction, although you can get broiled Maine lobster, lobster ravioli, pork chops and more. Pro tip: Go on the first night, when you either receive a complimentary bottle of house wine or any wine on the surprisingly varied list for half price. (You can buy as many bottles as you want at this discount on the first night, which is a nice alternative to Carnival's more lackluster Cruise the Vineyards wine package.)

RedFrog Pub (Deck 5, midship); a la carte: Carnival Magic’s

RedFrog Pub

food menu offers small bar bites -- think Jamaican jerk wings, grouper fingers, conch fritters -- at reasonable prices.

Cucina del Capitano (Deck 11, aft); prix fixe: Tucked away on Deck 11 and accessible by stairs from the Lido buffet, Carnival Magic's Italian restaurant is hard to find. But you should! We found our dinner here to be one of the ship's great values. The reasonable cover charge at 

Cucina del Capitano

 includes as many appetizers as you want -- we loved the fennel in the meatballs, as well as the eggplant Parmesan -- a choice of entrees and dessert. Pasta lovers will die for the spaghetti carbonara. Come hungry.

Chef's Table (Southern Lights galley), prix fixe: Held several times per sailing and open by reservation only, this experience is a combo seven-course tasting menu/tour of the galley/cooking class. The presentation is really the star here; salmon crackers appear on mini-trees, soups and garnishes are poured from glass teapots, veal is smoked in front of you and elderflower caviar garnishes white chocolate desserts (taste-wise, we felt some of the dishes could use some seasoning). While red and white wine is included in your meal, don't expect it to be high-end or plentiful; unlike other tasting menus, the pours aren't different for each course. We did enjoy the behind-the-scenes look at the galley, as well as insider info about the famous chocolate melting cake. Note: While the chef can customize the meal for allergies or aversions, the menu is designed for adventurous eaters; if lamb or quail or pork belly make you squirm, this probably isn't the experience for you.