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Carnival Magic dazzles with fun recreation

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ABOARD THE CARNIVAL MAGIC - It doesn’t look all that scary. But when you are up there standing on a thin rope with the vast sky overhead and the deep sea beneath, it can be quite exhilarating.

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And a bit frightening, I must admit.

A first for cruise ships when it was unveiled on the Carnival Magic, the ropes SkyCourse offers outdoor adventure suspended above deck with spectacular views. Hooked to a safety harness, passengers can participate in different rope activities of varying fitness levels – easy, moderate and challenging – while enjoying awesome sights of the sea nearly 150 feet below.

Traverse rope bridges, swinging steps and beams. It is worth a trip to the top just to see the ocean scenes.

Although ocean liners have long had exercise options for sports and health enthusiasts, the Carnival Magic is certainly going an extra mile in offering outdoor recreation. SportsSquare has enough activities that cruisers might burn off those one or two pounds we are said to gain on a cruise.

That is one or two pounds a day.

On our lovely last day at sea, I thought I’d take a stroll around the ship and see what folks are enjoying. Although I like the shore stops on cruises, I truly like the days at sea the most.

On this sunny day, 4-year-old Creedon Boerner is eating an outdoor hotdog lunch while sporting a balloon sculpture on his head. Since the Carnival Magic is based in Galveston, many of the cruisers are from Texas and Oklahoma. Creedon is from Dallas.

So what does he like best about the cruise? “Our cabin and fighting with my Dad,” he quickly says.

Surprising answer from a youngster with all the recreation options offered on the Magic. But Creedon hastens to add that he and his father like to pretend wrestle in their cabin. Understandable. Family time is a big plus of any cruise.

On this day, a large lighted multi-purpose court is popular for basketball, volleyball and soccer is getting a good workout. Strong netting around the court keeps balls from zooming into the ocean. There are also ping-pong tables and foosball tables.

Sky Fitness features a wide array of exercise equipment, stationary bikes, elliptical and rowing machines, punching bags and more. A six-station Vita exercise course seems well used whenever I pass it. Hard to imagine a more beautiful ocean scene while you exercise.

For a run in the sun or a stroll at sunset, Sports Court is an 800-foot-long padded jogging path that surrounds the fitness area and the Lanai is a convenient wraparound walkway on the promenade. Nothing like getting some exercise while watching the ocean roll and stars starting to light the night sky.

For water lovers, the Carnival Magic’s WaterWorks is a popular draw. Hands-on adventures invite cruisers to interact with and drench each other. Spraying cannons, tipping cones, colanders, squirting jets, shower valves, spinning water wheels and slides galore guarantee getting wet. The WaterWorks centerpiece is a gigantic 300-gallon water bucket named the PowerDrencher.

The central pool deck, the Beach Lido Pool, is always rocking with fun, including the traditional contests – hairy legs, macho chests and other weird competitions.

After all, Carnival Cruise Lines prides itself on “fun, fun, fun.”

For more information: Visit www.carnival.com

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