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Family Fun at the Carnival Magic Ports of Call

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Our Family Cruise – The Carnival Magic Ports of Call

We enjoyed a variety of activities during the Carnival Magic Ports of Call

We’re back, as mentioned in my article just last week where I shared our 5 Favourite Things from our First Family Cruise on the Carnival Magic, I’m now sharing more on the Carnival Magic ports of call. This was a 7 day Western Caribbean Cruise aboard the Carnival Magic that we were on for one week last month (July) and it was supposed to have stops in the ports of Belize, Cozumel, Costa Maya and Mahogany Bay Roatan (Honduras). Now I say “was supposed to” because we didn’t make it to Mahogany Bay due to a passenger’s medical emergency we had to re-route.

Costa Maya Carnival Magic

The good news is we got to see Key West, somewhere my family and I have never been to before and it was a lovely stop indeed. We took so many photos that I couldn’t possibly put them all in this article so I’m creating an online photo album for each port along with more information. Just look for each album after each port of call description below, we’ll add them as they are created. Now on to the fun! These are not in any particular order.

Cozumel, Mexico

We’ve been to Cozumel twice before but never as part of a cruise. We like Cozumel, the water is clear and  a beautiful blue as it’s the Caribbean Sea and it’s a small town feel. The port has been set up of course for the cruise ships so there’s lots of touristy type of things but if you have the time and the inclination you can take a cab into town for $8-$10 USD,

To see the larger version of these images just click on the image.

Club Cozumel Carnival Magic

We decided to head out with other families from our group to the beach to enjoy some sand and sea and of course some snorkelling. As we were a large group they split us up in two vans but the cost was very reasonable and it included transportation and entrance to this beach area. It was less than $25 for the three of us.

Cozumel beach

This was one section of the beach

The water did not disappoint, we went to this family-friendly area that had a beach, pool, food and other amenities. If you did not have lifejackets, snorkels or flippers you could borrow them for free, you just had to give them your ship card so they would know you return them. It was a hot day so the water felt great and oh was it ever so clear and beautiful. Oh that was a ton of fun for my hubby, daughter and I, the water was so clear and if you could keep yourself underwater lots of fishes to see.

cozumel fishes
Yes this is a photo we took under the water of the fish we could catch on camera that is.

We spent the day at the beach snorkelling and took about an hour to walk around the port of Cozumel. We did pick up a bottle or two of vanilla, something I always get when we go to Mexico. It was a fun day for all of the families to spend it at the beach.

cozumel under water 2
Another photo we took while under the water in Cozumel. Look at how clear that water is and no we didn’t use a flash or anything.


I must admit that I did not previously know that Belize was a country, not sure what I thought before but that was news to me. It’s a lovely port and out of all the ones we went to it’s the only one that is what they call a tender port. The Carnival Magic and other ships, don’t dock at a pier, we had to disembark while out a bit from land and be brought in by tender boats. That in itself was a bit of an adventure, a new experience for us.

GO HERE to see all our photos of Belize and more about our Altun Ha Maya Site and River Wallace excursion as well.

This is the view of our ship as we’re on the tender boat heading to the port of Belize

Carnival from tender boat

In Belize we had signed up for our first excursion. You can sign up before you board the Carnival Magic or any ship or while on board. Now I will warn you that you have to decide in advance for the most part whether or not you’re going to do an excursion or explore Belize. The more popular excursions can fill up quickly and from our experience you don’t get to do both. We selected the Altun Ha Mayan site and River Wallace tour excursion which pretty much took up our entire time in Belize. It was the more family-friendly option of the excursions, especially for those with younger children.

Belize boat tour
Panoramic photo of our boat for the river tour. Everyone on this boat was part of our same group. Lots of kids as you can see.

We knew everyone on this boat as they are all a part of the travel writers group that was invited on this cruise along with myself. It’s definitely a lot of fun to go with those you know but even if you don’t know them it’s interesting. Our tour guide Simone had a great sense of humour and we learned about Belize as we went along. It was a lot of jungle along the river with some homes in certain parts. They had hoped we could see some of the monkeys but that day we were out of luck.

Belize river boat
We did see some different birds like this one and bats (not in this photo). Check out our Belize photo album for more photos along the river.

We saw lots of Iguanas on shore.


We had a stop after the river boat tour and hand lunch before heading out in an air conditioned bus to the site of Altun-Ha. Just a warning the boat tour is a few hours and little kids may need to use the washroom. I would suggest not drinking a bunch of water as there technically is not a washroom stop for a few hours but we had to make an unscheduled one as we had lots of younger children on our boat.

Here we are at Altun-Ha and our group is at the top there behind us.

It is hot and humid in Belize but it is beautiful. We took rests in the shade and I’ll admit we did not climb to the top as I’ve been to Chichen-Itza which much taller and that’s enough for me. Although I’m told this one was quite easy and it didn’t look bad, I just didn’t feel the need to go to the top.

Another panoramic shot, just click on it to get the full image.

Altun Ha panoramic

The boat ride was fun and we got to different parts of Belize, learned some history and saw the Altun-Ha site but I definitely would have loved more time to explore.

Key West, Florida

The unexpected stop of the Carnival Magic to Key West brought us to an area that had more to offer than we realized. There’s a tour of Hemingway’s house with the all the cats, a little aquarium, markets and of course the birthplace of Key Lime Pie one of our favourite desserts ever. We went to the aquarium, explored the market, had some key lime pie and then spent some time on the ship. It’s a nice port with lots of shopping but it is a bit expensive.

Key West
It was grey and cloudy when we first got to port and it rained a bit.

There are tons of stores, a market area, many restaurants and tours to be done in Key West. It’s a pretty area, I liked the charm of the town, the older feel of it if you will.

key west mallory square

We didn’t go in the museum, there was lots to see just walking around. 

key west pirate

We did go to the aquarium which is small but my daughter enjoyed. I like that they had touch pools and that you could get a good look at the sea creatures that were there. They do a lot of rescue and rehabilitation at the Key West Aquarium.

nurse shark

We got to see Nurse Sharks

nurse sharks
Here’s a group of the Nurse Sharks
Aquarium Turtle
Sea Turtles

Costa Maya, Mexico

Watch for our post to come soon on our full experience in Costa Maya along more photos.

Costa Maya Port

Costa Maya was our last port and also where we had our second excursion at the Lost Maya Kingdom Adventure Park. This one is perfect for families with kids who just want to relax by a pool and let the kids go swimming, enjoy a lazy river or a variety of water slides.

Costa Maya pool

We got there about 9am so it wasn’t busy yet, however even when we left in the early afternoon it never felt packed. There were different areas with lounge chairs and because there were so many things to do people were spread out and not really crowded in one area. The only thing I have to say is that the ladies washroom I went to the toilet was tricky, it eventually flushed but took forever. Things parents need to know 😉

Costa Maya water park

Just one of the many waterslides. My whole family enjoyed it and from what I saw everyone who went had a good time. There never seemed to be any long line-ups no matter which ride they went on.

Costa Maya waterslide

Costa maya lazy river
Lazy River anyone? There was also zip-lining and oh so many waterslides from ones for the little kids to those who like to get their adrenaline pumping.

We enjoyed this excursion because it was relaxing mixed with going on rides whenever we wanted. We spent half the day there and then went around the port to see what they had to offer. There were dolphin rides that we saw there but they were in a small pool and I’ve seen much better facilities in other areas. The water however was beautiful and there was a rocky beach area that was nice, once you walked over the rocks and got into the water.

Costa Maya

My daughter said that the Lost Maya Kingdom Adventure Park was her favourite excursion and her favourite stop of the entire cruise. I liked the lovely scenery and we did some souvenir shopping for my daughter there. Overall it’s a lovely spot and I would consider going there again to see more of the area.

View of Costa Maya from the ship

There you have it all of the Carnival Magic port of calls that we got to see and enjoy on our first family cruise. It was a fabulous family vacation that we won’t ever forget.

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 20th, 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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87 thoughts on “Family Fun at the Carnival Magic Ports of Call”

  1. That looks like a wonderful adventure for the whole family. I love that there are activities for all age groups. Myself- I’ll be at all of the buffets.

  2. These pictures look amazing and I know it was beautiful. I am not a fan of the water or cruises my cousin has been begging me to go for years but I can’t swim and although she says I won’t feel it I am not good with the motion.

  3. Such nice family vacation love to go there with my family too. We enjoy the water and the weather looks so nice there. Lots of wonderful activities there too for everyone to enjoy.

  4. This looks like a truly enjoyable vacation. I am a photographer, so the photos are incredible. Thanks for sharing the post.

  5. My husband and I have never taken a cruise ship anywhere. I would love to go to Cozumel, Mexico. You’re photos look so inviting.

  6. I’ve never been on a cruise although its on my Bucktlist but not at the top, nor have I been to the destinations in your review but they look gorgeous & a fun trip. I’ve heard Belize is very inexpensive to travel to but can also be very dangerous.

  7. Wow I am loving the Cozumel, Mexico pictures we have a cruise coming up in Febuary same cruise but ours is a 5 day Carnival Triumph Carribean Western and one of the places it’s going to is the Cozumel, Mexico I’m so excited. We already booked one of our excursions for Cozumel, Mexico. Looks like you guys had a FANTASTIC time. I can’t wait to go on mine.

  8. Looks like heaven. I have always wanted to go on a cruise, any cruise well except to somewhere cold. This looks amazing.

  9. Beautiful and inspiring photos. Too many phobias here to get myself on a cruiseship, but really enjoy seeing others’ experiences. Several people I know were on a Disney Cruise very recently. I’m feeling more and more compelled to face my fears and just experience life!

  10. I love carnival. my man and I have been on 3. I really want to do the western Caribbean jaunt. what a wonderful vacation. thanks for sharing

  11. I love all the pictures you’ve taken, but particularly the oceans blue and all presenting birds and any pure nature shots.

  12. (Our Family Cruise – The Carnival Magic Ports of Call) It has been one of my dreams all of my life to go on a cruise with my entire family someday. These trips sound like so much fun!

  13. This is beautiful. I have not been to Belize yet but I would love to go. So much to see at these different ports and so much fun on board the ship. I have been many times. I have never tried Carnival cruise lines. I always used Royal Carribbean. I will have to try out this cruise line soon. Thank you so much for sharing this

  14. Looks like a great time. I’ve been to those ports on another cruise line. I heard Carnival is a great family line/ Maybe someday we’ll give them a try.

  15. Thanks for sharing your fabulous cruise with your readers. Your photos are all gorgeous. I have always wanted to go on a cruise, but could never seem to get away. I also had a problem deciding which cruise line and where to go. The one you shared with us is perfect!

  16. I have never had an interest in going on a cruise (wasn’t sure if I could handle the motion of the ship.) I have friends who go often and just rave about how much fun they have. Now that we have teenagers, we may looking into going before they move out on their own.

  17. Those cruise ships are getting so big, they’re like mini cities~! Like the Presadential Towers in Chicago, where they even have stores and shops downstairs. I ready for the senior…slooowwww crusies.

  18. My brother, sister in law, niece and 11 of the friends took a 7 day cruise right after thanksgiving. They flew in to New Orleans and explored there one whole day. And then on to the ship they stopped I think about 4 places and Belize was one of them. They had a blast there, they all want to go back and spend more time there.

  19. Oh wow! Such beautiful picutres! I have never been on a cruise, but I’ve been to the Bahamas when I was younger, a beach that had pink sand and it’s something that I’ll never forget! Such an amazing vacation!

  20. I’m so glad I got to view your pictures, they took me back to when I visited Cozumel, Mexico. It was the most memorable time of my life.

  21. I’ve been on two cruises. The first one we went to the Bahamas somewhere and took an excursion in town to Inca ruins. It was so interesting. I’ve never been to Key West but it looks like a place we will need to visit in the future!

  22. My niece just went to Belize this year. She absolutely loved it. I would enjoy visiting any of these sites and taking a cruise also!

  23. Oh my gosh I am so jealous of you getting to go to these places. Looks like a great time. I am 53 and never have been on a cruise and only been to Cancun once. It is so beautiful down there and the water is so clear.

  24. All these places sound wonderful, until I remember that I have a child with Aspergers and is like a walking timebomb. It takes very little to agitate him and being around strange people is a no go. So I sit and think about someday and all the places I want to see. Some my son will come on. Some he won’t be able to.

  25. Thank you for sharing your vacation with us! I have always wanted to go to Florida and a few other places, but still have not experienced traveling! Maybe one day!

  26. I could use some of that right now…blue water, blue skies…great pictures, esp. the underwater ones. The picture of Mallory Square looks like a place I’d like to live, not just visit. This looks like a great vacation, I think I’d be so overwhelmed by the size of that ship though, I’m sure I’d be getting lost all the time.

  27. this looks like a dream come true how lucky to be able to travel to these nice places i hope one day to go on another cruise to places like this

  28. Wow, what a great adventure you had. I have friends that have gone on cruises before and they LOVE it. I am still a little scared to try it. Sure looks like a lot of fun though.

  29. wow, these are some wonderful photos. thank you so much for sharing. We’ve have been wanting to visit the Keys, and I’m glad to hear the it wasn’t too expensive. That cab fare isnt too bad at all. I’ve never been on a cruise and I used to be a little scared (think Titanic) But I’m over that now… I just want to go! Glad you had a great time.

  30. You had so many fun adventures on this trip. I am most envious of the snorkeling as that is something that I just love and the beach you were on looked so pristine and lovely.

  31. Sadly! I have never been on a vacation cruise ship!! My friends tell me there is nothing more relaxing than a cruise! They said they were treated like royalty & that there are a bunch of activities for the whole family. Plus the food was excellent! You can get off and shop or do an excursion. One day I hope to do this! It is on my bucket list. With or without my hubby ?

  32. Wow! What an adventure. I’ve always wanted to take a cruise, they sound like so much fun! Loved your photos, hey really tell they story.

  33. Wow, this looks like it was a blast! I can’t remember the last time I went on a vacation honestly! That water slide and beach looks like a blast!

  34. wow wish i could do somthing like that it nice and the wter park look like one we have white river but i would kill for the trip

  35. I am sooooo jealous of you!! For almost thirty years, I have begged my husband to go on a cruise. No cruise yet, but fingers are crossed. Loved all your photos!

  36. This just looks amazing, I still can’t believe the size of the ship that I am looking at in that picture, and so nice of you to show all these photo’s, I hope some day to be able to take a vacation like this,Looks like a lovely family friendly place to visit.

  37. These photos are absolutely beautiful! We went on a cruise this past January. It was my first one, and I absolutely loved it!

  38. wow the cruise looks so much fun and its great place to bring family with kids, they will surely enjoy watching the sharks and water rides.

    • Sounds like an amazing family vacation. I’ve never been on a cruise and hope to someday. Just looking at all the photos looks like paradise. Thanks for sharing


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