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5 Favourite Things From Our First Family Cruise

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Our 5 Favourite Things From Our First Family Cruise on the Carnival Magic

The Carnival Magic is perfect for a family cruise – #LetsGoCarnival

This summer we had the opportunity to go on our first cruise ever, not just our first family cruise but the first time that any of us have ever been on a cruise. It was a 7 day Western Caribbean Cruise aboard the Carnival Magic. As you can imagine, we were quite excited. We also had a lot of questions as to what to expect, what to pack etc.. The Carnival website has lots of great tips for almost any question you might have. I also learned a lot from some of the travel writers whom we met on this trip. I’ll be linking to some of their articles at the bottom of this one.

Carnival girl
I love this photo of my daughter at the port in Costa Maya with our ship in the background.

There is so much to do on a cruise whether it’s on the ship or at the ports. I could write forever about all of the things we experienced, but that would almost be a novel. So I’ve decided to break it down into a series.

Carnival Magic 2
A view of our ship from the port at Key West

A quick preview of our room. 

A Carnival Room
It was cozy but not too small. I enjoyed the balcony as I liked to sit out there with my morning coffee or just enjoy look at the beautiful water.

Onto our top five favourite things we loved about our first family cruise on the Carnival Magic in no set order.

1) The activities/amenities: The Carnival Magic offers an amazing variety of activities and amenities. The hard part is deciding what you you’ll do from such a fantastic selection. You won’t have time to do them all so you’ll want to prioritize.

sun chairs
If you didn’t care where you were located there were always lounge chairs to be found in the sun or shade.

The waterslide was busy for the days at sea but when in port you could either go on before you went to shore as it was never as busy on port days. There’s a spa, mini golf area, arcade, kids and teen clubs and so many activities that I could even begin to list them. You would get a new sheet every day to see what was happening that day.


The waterslide was a HUGE hit.

 Dive-In Theatre 

dive in theatre
You could lounge outside and enjoy one or two movies each night. One was earlier in the evening and would start when it wasn’t quite dark yet so that younger kids could enjoy it.

2) The Fun Shops & other shopping: there’s fun to be had for kids and adults.

fun shops

From candy stores to clothing everyone enjoyed shopping or just window shopping. I’m sure it’s no surprise that my daughter loved the candy store Cherry on Top, just look at all those goodies. They also had art auctions, you could purchase from Diamonds International and much more shopping, it really is a shoppers dream.

A Cherry
Cherry on Top


I scored this beautiful hat on the ship for only $10. As you saw from our first photo my daughter ended up wearing it a few times.

3) The food and drinks: Oh my the food. I was a bit worried about whether or not the food would be good, it wasn’t it was GREAT! You have your choice to go to the buffet, the dining room, Guy’s Burgers, Pizza, Indian Restaurant (limited hours), Italian (extra cost), Steakhouse (extra cost), pizza and more. For the dining room guys have to wear pants (no shorts etc..) and you dress up a bit but it’s so worth it, the food was yummy.

bbq food
Oh the bbq, we tried a bit of everything


Carnival Magic Desserts
I’m still dreaming about these desserts, especially the top left one their Chocolate Melting Cake, it’s simply divine. These were in the dining room and the steak house.

2 desserts?

two desserts
My daughter who is not a big eater had two desserts one night in the dining room. I might have helped her with the Chocolate Melting Cake 😉

Carnival Magic Food

We also went to the Italian restaurant and the Steakhouse, the food was amazing in both restaurants.


I didn’t have many as I’m not a big drinker but when I did I enjoy the amazing cocktails that they served both with or without alcohol.

4) The views from the ship: From sunrises to sunsets , to the water views, to the gorgeous ports. and my hubby even caught on camera a water spoUt while at sea, the views can’t be beat. I could seriously just sit on the ship and enjoy all the views.

First Family Cruise Carnival Magic Water
Taken from aboard the ship while at sea

I love these Panorama photos. To see the full image just click on the photo.

panorama water resized
This first panorama photo the sun is rising and as my husband moves the camera around you can see the sky changing.
panorama waterslide resized
A lengthwise view of the ship from the top and of the beautiful ocean,


water spout

My husband spotted this water spout very early one morning, so early I was still in bed so he snapped this photo and tried to take a short video of it.

You may have to look  closely. As it was quite early in the morning (5am) my hubby only had his iPhone on him.

The views in the ports couldn’t be beat. We’re going to give you a preview now but as we’ll be publishing another article later this week just on the ports so just a few photos for now.

Key West (2)
One of the small islands around Key West
Oh the water around Costa Maya so beautiful
Cozumel, the water is so beautiful

5) The people and the service: Last but not least our fifth favourite thing about the cruise was the people we met, those who worked on the ship and the amazing service they provided. Our steward Newman always made sure we had whatever we needed in our room. He never forgot our names and checked in with us to make sure we were happy with our room. The table staff in the restaurants were always so helpful and things were just cleaned up so quickly from the buffet to the dining room.

Towel creatures were a hit.

Towel creatures
They also created and left in your room each night after they turned down the bed these cute towel creatures. My daughter loved them.

While I could give you at least a dozen more of our favourite things we loved about our first family cruise we’re sticking to the top 5 reasons we loved it. Stay tuned though as later this week we’ll be publishing our article on the ports and excursions we enjoyed during this same cruise.

Check out our Family Fun at the Carnival Magic Ports of Call for more great info on cruising with Carnival.

Make sure to stop by and take a gander at the articles from the travel writers I was on the cruise with. Everyone has something different to share 🙂
5  Reasons to Take a Cruise – for Sober Travellers
9 Reasons for a First Family Cruise on the Carnival Magic

Carnival Magic Costa Maya close up

Have you ever been on a cruise or want to go on one? Feel free to comment below we’d love to hear from you.

A big thanks to SJ Consulting and Carnival Cruise Lines for inviting us to be a part of the #LetsGoCarnival retreat. We enjoyed our first cruise and can’t wait to go on another one. We are cruise converts.

By on August 15th, 2016

About Powered by Mom

I’m Michelle aka Powered by Mom. I’m married with one daughter, my hubby was my high school sweetheart, our two dogs Nyx and Cleo and our cat Oliver. As you can see we’re a family of animal lovers. We love to travel when we can, try different food and activities all over the world and enjoy being together. My passions are writing, travelling, creating new recipes, encouraging people to adopt not shop and just to enjoy life while we can.

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26 thoughts on “5 Favourite Things From Our First Family Cruise”

  1. My first and only cruise was a Carnival also. I loved it just cannot wait to do another one. Someday soon I hope! Looks like a fabulous time and yes the food is usually awesome.

  2. We almost took a cruise this year but opted to just fly to Punta Cana because we didn’t know how our two boys would do on a ship… Now I’m wishing we had!! This looks like an absolute blast (and I am literally drooling over those desserts)!

  3. We have been on a couple of different cruises (Alaska & Bahamas) but have been considering another for our 50th wedding anniversary which is soon approaching. After seeing all your pic & comments, I am definitely passing your post on to my husband. Thanks for sharing.

  4. What an amazing time! I’ve taken a cruise once, it was just a short 3 day cruise, I won it and went with my best friend. I really want to go with my family on a longer cruise!

  5. WEll first-Iv never been on a Cruise of any type.
    THey have always looked to be a fun idea, but one is not in the cards for me. still raising up 5 kids as a divorced single parent.
    And I dont think that after they grow up itll be an option either. not on my fixed income

    But a gal can alway dream

  6. We have never taken a Cruise and I found your Carnival comments very helpful and exciting. Can’t wait to experience the fun for myself!

  7. It was great to see all of your fantastic photos–great quality and really gave an insider’s view to what a cruise is really like. Thanks!

  8. Going on a cruise is at the top of my bucket list! Thanks for sharing. This information is so welcome. Now the hard part is when to book!

  9. Wow I never really gave it much thought of going on a cruise, but this has me packing! So much to do, and everything so sparkling and the food! Luv that hat, too!

    • Margot, no not weird at all. It still took me a day to relax and not worry where my daughter was on the ship lol then I realized really we’re at sea, all contained in a ship she’ll be fine, it was nice to not worry like that 🙂

  10. WOW!! talk about a vacation, I really enjoyed looking at your pictures and watching the videos, I was really amazed on the variety of food , desserts and drink that they have, and knowing that they have many things for you and your children to do is a huge plus.

  11. Nice to hear a positive review on Carnival. We were on another ship a few years ago, and could hear the noise from a different Carnival ship across the water (sounded loud and angry–they may have overserved alcohol that time to a party crowd).

  12. I love going on cruises. I think I have been on about eight. So much fun and so much to do. Thank you for sharing this great article. It brings back memories for me.

  13. The pictures of the ports and the water spout are beautiful. I’m still wary of taking a cruise. I’ve heard too many stories of mass illnesses to risk it.


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