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treevee1985

choosing between carnival magic and carnival horizon

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I am looking to book a cruise for summer of 2020. I've narrowed it down to either Magic or Horizon. Both are 8 day southern Caribbean. the ports are Aruba, curacao, la Romana and Amber Cove. The Horizon is $44 more. I've only been on carnival glory and carnival liberty. I can't decide which to choose.

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This was a hard choice for us for our upcoming August 2019 cruise. Ultimately, the cost difference was greater in August, so we choose the Magic, which have sailed on before. My kids loved the layout and the water slides. They were less enamored with teh pictures of the Dr. Seuss themed water areas on the Horizon. I would have liked to try something different, but what can you do!

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I had to make that same decision.  My husband chose the Magic.  We like that size Carnival ship the best.  We haven't sailed on the Horizon, but have sailed on the Vista.  We didn't like the extremely long lines for the adult comedy shows and didn't like the theater.  The theater is not set up like the smaller ships and it's difficult to get a decent view of the stage.  We always stand in line early, but this was ridiculous.

There are pros about the bigger ship.  There are more people, but there is also more to do.  It really depends on who you are travelling with and the things you would like to do on the ship.  I think teens would really like the larger ship.  Many adults prefer it too.  Since my husband and I aren't interested in the water slides and things like that, the Magic is a much better fit for us.

Edited by TNcruising02

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I have cruised on both ships and Magic would be an easy choice for me. Keep in mind I like attending shows, especially comedy, and there is no comparison between the lounges/theaters on these ships. The ones on Horizon are way too small for the size of the ship. The thermal suite on Magic is a lot nicer if that interests you. I  like the Red Frog Pub more than Guys Pig n Anchor, another plus for Magic. I also prefer the atrium with glass elevators on Magic. Horizon is still a nice ship, but it doesn’t compare to Magic in my book. 

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Here are the differences between the ships, it is ultimately up to you and your family to choose which better suits your needs. I hope this helps.

 

Horizon:

Basics-

  • 3,500 more gross tons
  • 300 more passengers
  • 50 feet longer
  • 100 more crew

Dining-

  • Bonsai Teppanyaki
  • Jiji Asian Kitchen
  • Fresh Creations
  • Bonsai Sushi
  • Shake Spot

Bars-

  • Havana Bar
  • Guy's Pig and Anchor Brewhouse
  • Skybox Sports Bar
  • Beer Station

Entertainment-

  • IMAX/Thrill Theater

Kids/Teens-

  • Dr. Seuss Bookville

Outdoor-

  • SkyRide

 

Magic:

Dining-

  • Mongolian Wok

Activities-

  • Art Exhibitions/seminars/auctions/games

Bars-

  • Red Frog Pub

Kids/Teens-

  • Seuss at Sea
  • Circle C
  • Towel Animal Theater

Spa-

  • Thalassotherapy Pool
Edited by nycruise3
Formatting

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It looks like the Horizon has more for kids to do.  Does the Magic have the ropes course and a thrill theater like the Breeze?

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It really depends what you are looking for. The Horizon has more going on, which I believe usually brings a higher chance of fun. If you are going to let some of the poorly designed lounges ruin your time, I would choose the Magic, which is no slouch. I had a heck of a time getting a Punchliner seat on a Dream class though.

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Both these ships are bigger than what you've sailed before, and the price difference is small.  If flights are open for your dates, I would look at those and see which is cheaper (or are both cruises at the same time?).  Both cruises will have more "stuff" than your previous cruises.  And both have the same awesome ports.  IMO, you can't really go wrong here.

 

EDIT- I just reread and saw you were looking at summer 2020- perhaps you could check flights for the same time this year and see if either date is drastically cheaper.  

Edited by purplephenom

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14 minutes ago, Joebucks said:

It really depends what you are looking for. The Horizon has more going on, which I believe usually brings a higher chance of fun. If you are going to let some of the poorly designed lounges ruin your time, I would choose the Magic, which is no slouch. I had a heck of a time getting a Punchliner seat on a Dream class though.


On the flip side, it makes sense for someone who likes theater shows and comedy shows to choose a ship size where watching those shows is a pleasant experience.  It's not a matter of letting a poorly designed lounge or theater ruining a cruise.  It didn't ruin my cruise and I had a great time.  However, choosing not to watch shows in a poorly designed theater or stand in insanely long comedy show lines is common sense for people who enjoy those things and don't cruise for the water slides, rope courses, IMAX, etc.  Different strokes for different folks.  Choosing a ship size that works for a family doesn't mean the other size ships won't work for others.

I think the ship size really depends on what the cruisers are looking for.  The Horizen will appeal to kids and teens, that's for sure.  But there are negatives, just like with any ship.

Edited by TNcruising02

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19 hours ago, TNcruising02 said:

I think teens would really like the larger ship.

Not necessarily.

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1 hour ago, nycruise3 said:

Here are the differences between the ships, it is ultimately up to you and your family to choose which better suits your needs. I hope this helps.

 

Horizon:

Basics-

  • 3,500 more gross tons
  • 300 more passengers
  • 50 feet longer
  • 100 more crew

Dining-

  • Bonsai Teppanyaki
  • Jiji Asian Kitchen
  • Fresh Creations
  • Bonsai Sushi
  • Shake Spot

Bars-

  • Havana Bar
  • Guy's Pig and Anchor Brewhouse
  • Skybox Sports Bar
  • Beer Station

Entertainment-

  • IMAX/Thrill Theater

Kids/Teens-

  • Dr. Seuss Bookville

Outdoor-

  • SkyRide

 

Magic:

Dining-

  • Mongolian Wok

Activities-

  • Art Exhibitions/seminars/auctions/games

Bars-

  • Red Frog Pub

Kids/Teens-

  • Seuss at Sea
  • Circle C
  • Towel Animal Theater

Spa-

  • Thalassotherapy Pool

I am confused. Circle C is on both the Horizon and the Magic.

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2 hours ago, JaniceB said:

It looks like the Horizon has more for kids to do.  Does the Magic have the ropes course and a thrill theater like the Breeze?

 

Magic has the ropes course but doesn’t have the thrill theater. 

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1 hour ago, TNcruising02 said:


On the flip side, it makes sense for someone who likes theater shows and comedy shows to choose a ship size where watching those shows is a pleasant experience.  It's not a matter of letting a poorly designed lounge or theater ruining a cruise.  It didn't ruin my cruise and I had a great time.  However, choosing not to watch shows in a poorly designed theater or stand in insanely long comedy show lines is common sense for people who enjoy those things and don't cruise for the water slides, rope courses, IMAX, etc.  Different strokes for different folks.  Choosing a ship size that works for a family doesn't mean the other size ships won't work for others.

I think the ship size really depends on what the cruisers are looking for.  The Horizen will appeal to kids and teens, that's for sure.  But there are negatives, just like with any ship.

 

Fair assessment. 

 

Sharing my own experience, the comedy is my favorite night time activity, by far. The worst experience I had was on the Dream where all seats were always filled unless you were at least 30 min early. In that case, you got a crappy seat. The best experience has been on any fantasy class. Always plenty of room, even if you walk in at show start. With that said, I would still pick a larger ship over fantasy because I like the total experience better. 

 

To each their own

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23 hours ago, jbethel11 said:

I am confused. Circle C is on both the Horizon and the Magic.

There must have been a mistake on the Carnival website. I used the compare feature and it showed Circle C as one of the difference.

Edited by nycruise3
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34 minutes ago, nycruise3 said:

There must have been a mistake on the Carnival website. I used the compare feature and it showed Circle C as one of the difference.

When I was on the Horizon, I was in Circle C (but too old) and Club O2.

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23 hours ago, Joebucks said:

 

Fair assessment. 

 

Sharing my own experience, the comedy is my favorite night time activity, by far. The worst experience I had was on the Dream where all seats were always filled unless you were at least 30 min early. In that case, you got a crappy seat. The best experience has been on any fantasy class. Always plenty of room, even if you walk in at show start. With that said, I would still pick a larger ship over fantasy because I like the total experience better. 

 

To each their own

 

That was not my experience in my two weeks on the Dream and one week on the Breeze last year.

 

And I was in plenty of standing room only shows in my three weeks on Elation. Every CCL comedy club I've been in has gone to standing room only. Not for every show...but once or twice a week. I feel like the Dream class has less of it. Vista is the worst. Smaller club and very very little room for standing.

 

 

Edited by Saint Greg

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The comedy shows are the main reason my husband and I choose Carnival.  We enjoy them.  We've found that we can arrive any time before the family shows and get a good seat.  We often get to the adult comedy shows 1/2 early to get our favorite seats.  We've actually watched as many as four different comedy shows in one night.  The only times we have ever had a problem getting good seats was on the Vista adult shows.  There are just too many people and we had to stand in line well over a half hour to get decent seats.  It's not worth it when the smaller ships don't have that issue. 

I like the Breeze and Magic size ships the best and realized that a bigger ship isn't always better for what we are looking for in a cruise.

Edited by TNcruising02

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3 minutes ago, TNcruising02 said:

The comedy shows are the main reason my husband and I choose Carnival.  We enjoy them.  We've found that we can arrive any time before the family shows and get a good seat.  We often get to the adult comedy shows 1/2 early to get our favorite seats.  We've actually watched as many as four different comedy shows in one night.  The only times we have ever had a problem getting good seats was on the Vista adult shows.  There are just too many people and we had to stand in line well over a half hour to get decent seats.  It's not worth it when the smaller ships don't have that issue. 

I like the Breeze and Magic size ships the best and realized that a bigger ship isn't always better for what we are looking for in a cruise.

 

If you thought Vista was bad, don’t ever try Sunshine. The Limelight Lounge on Sunshine makes the one on Vista look huge. 

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I sailed on both Magic and Horizon and of course, both have their pros/cons.

 

Magic Pros:

Elevators were not "smart" elevators and seemed to run a little quicker

Smaller ship, so everything was closer

Crew on this ship was better. We were constantly called by our names. No one referred to us by our name on the Horizon once

 

Horizon Pros:

Bonsai was delicious. They don't have that on the magic

Water park was larger 

FUN crew was much, much better

Offered more entertainment

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We would choose Horizon. Did the TA on it and thoroughly enjoyed. We were on the Magic a couple months ago and I thought the Atrium was rather drab (although no one else has ever mentioned that) but did enjoy and appreciate all the other decor. 

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43 minutes ago, Danca4eva1994 said:

I sailed on both Magic and Horizon and of course, both have their pros/cons.

 

Magic Pros:

Smaller ship, so everything was closer

 

 

Horizon is 133,500 GT while Magic is 130,000 GT, so size wise they are very similar. 

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7 hours ago, treevee1985 said:

Thanks everyone, I'm leaning towards the Magic!

Here's the one main difference between the two ships that has yet to be mentioned and is the major tipping point as far as I am concerned.  HAVANA.  

 

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1 hour ago, SNJCruisers said:

Here's the one main difference between the two ships that has yet to be mentioned and is the major tipping point as far as I am concerned.  HAVANA.  

 

 

I don’t disagree with your comment (and video); however, the Havana area doesn’t appeal to everyone. For example, I live in Florida and have a pool and spa in my backyard. So I don’t spend a lot of time on any ship hanging out by or in a pool/spa. Also, Havana cabins cost significantly more, which is another reason they really don’t appeal to me.

 

But I can understand why someone who spends a lot of time outside on a ship and wants a quieter environment would like the Havana area.  Or you could cruise on a Spirit class ship, which has a great Serenity area with everything the Havana area has, plus there are no kids there, which isn’t the case with the Havana area, which allows teenagers. 

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