The Magic of Carnival cruise ship construction

The 3,690-passenger Carnival Magic will debut in May 2011. Carnival has created a fascinating interactive website detailing the step-by-step “How It’s Made’’ construction process for its largest-ever super liner. Image courtesy Carnival Cruise Lines

By Michael Coleman

Have you ever wondered how – even with the most-amazing of latest technologies – a modern-day cruise ship is constructed?

It’s an enormous undertaking even for the world’s most popular cruise line.

With less than seven months until its maiden voyage, the new Carnival Magic reached another construction milestone when it was “floated out” earlier this week from her outfitting quay at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy.

The initial stages of a cruise ship’s construction take place in a dry dock facility. Once exterior outfitting is completed, the dry dock is flooded with water and the ship is “floated out” and moved to a wet dock facility where construction continues.

Carnival has removed the veil on the entire construction process by providing both exclusive images and video of the Carnival Magic’s construction at an amazing interactive website. Just click the “How It’s Made” icon at the top of the page for a rare look into the fascinating process of cruise ship construction.

The ship’s next major milestone — sea trials in the Adriatic Sea — is slated for early next year in anticipation of Magic’s May 1, 2011 European debut.

The most innovative “Fun Ship” in Carnival’s fleet to date, Magic will offer a host of new facilities and features including the RedFrog Pub, a Caribbean-inspired watering hole with its own private label beer; Cucina del Capitano, an Italian family-style restaurant that brings the heritage of Carnival’s captains to the table; and SportsSquare, an expansive sports complex featuring the first-ever ropes course and outdoor fitness area at sea.

Other innovations include Carnival WaterWorks aqua park, a Serenity adults-only retreat, The Lanai, a wrap-around promenade with whirlpools that extend out over the ship’s sides and what the line bills as a “stunning’’ indoor/outdoor café and live entertainment venue called Ocean Plaza.

The ship is slated to debut with a nine-day cruise from Venice to Barcelona May 1-10, 2011, followed by a series of seven-to 12-day Mediterranean voyages from Barcelona, Carnival’s first-ever departures from the Spanish port. Following a 16-day trans-Atlantic crossing, Magic will launch seven-day Caribbean service from Galveston Nov. 14, 2011, becoming the largest cruise ship ever based in Texas year-round.

On the web: carnival.com

Follow the Dawn Princess’ makeover online

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Following the response to its unprecedented online Golden Princess Drydock Journal last month, Princess Cruises is again inviting cruise enthusiasts to go behind the scenes as Dawn Princess undergoes a similar makeover. Visitors to princess.com will be able to watch daily as the ship receives new interior furnishings and finishes, plus adds two Princess signature features — the Movies Under the Stars giant poolside screen and the relaxing adults-only Sanctuary. Continue reading “Follow the Dawn Princess’ makeover online”

NCL Epic’s bow lowered into place at shipyard

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Norwegian Epic’s construction, underway at STX Europe in St. Nazaire, France, celebrated a milestone in the early morning hours last Wednesday, April 9, when the ship’s bow was lowered into place. The bow, known as block 642, weighed 445 tons and measured 85 feet long, 108 feet wide and almost 30 feet high. The process of putting the bow in place took 100 workers about two hours. This significant step represents the completion of the lower part of the steel hull, those areas that come in contact with the sea, and indicates that only the superstructures, or topsides, remain to be finalized. Continue reading “NCL Epic’s bow lowered into place at shipyard”

Detailed model of Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas

Crowds gather around a model of Oasis of the Seas.
Crowds gather around a model of Oasis of the Seas.

One of the busiest booths at this week’s Seatrade Cruise Shipping Miami conference (besides Mexico’s when they were giving out free beer) was that of STX Europe, the builder of Royal Caribbean’s upcoming newest ship. The reason for the crowd was their model of that revolutionary ship, Oasis of the Seas. Here are some more pictures of the model and information about the ship. Continue reading “Detailed model of Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas”

New ships to be named Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy

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At today’s 2009 Annual Meeting of Shareholders of The Walt Disney Company, Disney announced the names of the company’s two new cruise ships.

“Last week, steel cutting began on our next two Disney cruise ships. Today I’m pleased to announce their names,” said Robert A. Iger, Disney president and CEO. “The Disney Dream will set sail in 2011, while the Disney Fantasy will hit the high seas in 2012.” Continue reading “New ships to be named Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy”

Oceania Cruises’ Marina under construction

Oceania Cruises' executives Frank Del Rio, left, and Bob Binder celebrate the birth of Oceania's newest ship - Marina - during a keel laying ceremony in Italy over the weekend.
Oceania Cruises' executives Frank Del Rio, left, and Bob Binder celebrate the birth of Oceania's newest ship - Marina - during a keel laying ceremony in Italy over the weekend.

A ceremony marking the keel laying for Oceania Cruises’ Marina was held over the weekend at the Sestri Ponente shipyard of Fincantieri near Genoa, Italy. Continue reading “Oceania Cruises’ Marina under construction”

Construction begins on two new Disney ships

Capt. Mickey along with Disney Cruise Line President Karl Holz and Meyer Werft Managing Partner Bernard Meyer celebrate Disney Cruise Line’s first steel cutting ceremony at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany.
Capt. Mickey along with Disney Cruise Line President Karl Holz and Meyer Werft Managing Partner Bernard Meyer celebrate Disney Cruise Line’s first steel cutting ceremony at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany.

Disney Cruise Line began construction on two new ships today with a steel cutting ceremony at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany. The ships are scheduled for completion in 2011 and 2012. Continue reading “Construction begins on two new Disney ships”