Carnival Magic makes her debut in Europe

Little kids and big kids alike will love the Waterworks area. Get dumped on by hundreds of gallons of water, then go down one of three large slides. Carnival Magic has their longest twister waterslide of any ship.



By Jackie Roseboom

Living up to her name, the christening of the brand new Carnival Magic was indeed magical.

The ceremony took place onboard while in port in Venice, Italy. Carnival’s CEO appeared out of nowhere on stage in a helicopter to start the festivities. The sailing away party, with breathtaking views of Venice was a perfect way to start off a first cruise on a brand new ship.

The ship’s Godmother, Lindsey Wilkerson, was diagnosed with cancer as a child. She credits her survival to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. She is dedicated to raising funds for St. Jude to ensure more children are helped the way she was. Carnival has taken a pledge to raise three million dollars in three years for St. Jude. On each cruise there is a “Groove for St. Jude” dance party/fundraiser.

In addition to the parties, there are so many fun activities onboard. On Carnival’s new fun ship you can climb high and mighty on the new Sky Course. The views from this rope course on the top deck are amazing as you test your tightrope walking skills (while being tethered to a safety line). The Sports Square features a miniature golf course, a billiards table, foosball, ping-pong and outdoor workout equipment. There is also an area up top to play basketball and many other sports. The oversize board games are also a big hit.

The full service Cloud 9 Spa supplies everything you will possibly need to relax and rejuvenate. The gym classes and equipment are top notch and the spas’ thermal suites are not to be missed. They consist of heated lounge chairs, different kinds of steam rooms and a large, wonderful hot tub with a view! Here’s a little hint: to add to experience, get the custom scrub while you are in the steam room. It will leave your skin baby soft and it’s only about $9 extra. It’s the perfect thing to add to your spa treatment.

There is no shortage of dining options and nightlife on the Carnival Magic. Of course, there’s the “always aimed to please” the main dining rooms, but the Lido deck has many different options to choose from, including tandoori, sandwiches, hamburgers and hot dogs, pizza, a burrito bar, Mongolian wok and so much more. The new Cucina Del Capitano is an extra fee Italian restaurant by night and a free made to order pasta bar by day. The Prime Steakhouse also has an extra fee, but it is so worth it due to the mouth-watering steaks.

The fun new hangout onboard is the RedFrog Pub. It’s Carnival’s first ever pub. It has a comfortable neighborhood bar feel with a Caribbean flair. There’s an extra cost of $3.33 for each of the yummy things on the menu. You’ll probably want to try the Thirsty Frog Red. This house brew is made just for the pub and isn’t available anywhere else. It sold out on the first cruise and they had to ship some more in. There’s live music nightly and a fun outside area. In addition to the Red Frog for nightlife, there are also lounges, a piano bar, karaoke with a live band and dancing. Of course the shows in the Showtime Theater are something to see and don’t forget the big-screen movie on the pool deck. Kids, and kids-at-heart will love the three water slides and large water dump bucket and splash play area. With all this, you’ll have a hard time being bored, but if that’s what you’re looking for, the Serenity deck is perfect place to unwind with its soft lounge chairs and inviting hammocks.

The cabins onboard the Carnival Magic are very comfortable and available for most sizes and budgets. The Carnival Magic will be sailing the Mediterranean for the summer and in the Caribbean, sailing out of Galveston for the winter. The Magic’s sister ships are the Dream, which debut in 2010, and the Breeze, which launches in 2012.

For more information go to carnival.com

Here’s video of the naming ceremony:

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

Video: Disney Magic to get new ‘Villains Tonight!’ stage show

disney villains show

The malevolent world of the Disney villains takes a comical spin in “Villains Tonight!,” a musical spectacular that Disney Cruise Line is premiering in spring 2010. The revue-style show will debut during the March 27 voyage aboard the Disney Magic and will debut aboard the new Disney Dream cruise ship in early 2011.

“Villains Tonight!” is the first full-scale musical production dedicated to the Disney villains. The show is a family-friendly, fun-filled musical extravaganza that places these famous evil-doers in some irreverent funny moments.

“We pride ourselves in delivering exceptional entertainment and magnificent stage spectaculars aboard our ships,” said Jim Urry, vice president of entertainment for Disney Cruise Line. “With ‘Villains Tonight!’ we are bringing the lovable and loathsome Disney villains to life in a way never seen before — as the stars of the first musical comedy devoted to the anti-heroes of our films.”

Disney Cruise Line assembled an all-star creative team headlined by the Broadway writing duo of Hunter Bell and Jeff Bowen. They are joined by director Allison Narver, choreographer Karma Camp and musical director Ben Cohn.

“Villains Tonight!” begins as Hades and his faithful sidekicks, Pain and Panic (“Hercules”), welcome new souls (the audience) to the Underworld. But instead of a frightening realm, guests will discover that Hades has turned the Underworld into an upbeat and happier place. The lively fun comes to a halt when The Fates arrive and predict that Hades will lose his position as Lord of the Underworld if he doesn’t ramp up the evil factor.

Worried by the news, Hades checks his Evil-O-Meter and discovers it is running dangerously low. So he comes up with a plan: He’ll conjure up the very best of the worst — the most powerful Disney villains — to help him replenish the world of evil. What ensues is a comical journey as Hades, Pain and Panic embark on a quest filled with wacky antics and amusing musical numbers featuring Disney villains and their sidekicks.

“Villains Tonight!” features a “Who’s Who” of the Disney villains, including Disney’s newest crook, Dr. Facilier from “The Princess and the Frog.” The show also features classic divas and scoundrels like Ursula (“The Little Mermaid”), the Evil Queen (“Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”), Captain Hook (“Peter Pan”) and Scar (“The Lion King”).

During “Villains Tonight!,” the 977-seat Walt Disney Theatre becomes a hilariously wicked world through the use of elaborate sets and special effects, extravagant costumes and a fun-filled, contemporary musical score. The show’s scenery takes guests on a dazzling journey through many villainous worlds, from the deck of Captain Hook’s ship to Scar’s Elephant Graveyard to Ursula’s Undersea Lounge.

“Villains Tonight!” features irreverent versions of classic Disney villain tunes including a dance club version of “Cruella De Vil” (“101 Dalmatians”), a Copacabana-inspired take of “Poor Unfortunate Souls” (“The Little Mermaid”) and an electrifying version of “Friends on the Other Side,” from Walt Disney Pictures’ newest animated feature, “The Princess and the Frog.” In addition, Bell and Bowen developed two original songs especially for the show, “Welcome to the Underworld” and “Villains Tonight.”

The show was produced by Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Entertainment, which has received acclaim for its productions around the world, including “Finding Nemo — The Musical” (Walt Disney World Resort in Florida), “Disney’s Aladdin — A Musical Spectacular” (Disneyland Resort in California), “Twice Charmed” (Disney Cruise Line) and “The Golden Mickeys” (Hong Kong Disneyland and Disney Cruise Line).

“Villains Tonight!” joins the lineup of shipboard stage musicals as the Disney Magic gets ready to embark on an unprecedented five-month season of Mediterranean and Northern European cruises. Departing from Barcelona, Spain, Mediterranean cruises go from April 24 to May 26 and Aug. 7 to Sept. 8, visiting ports in Italy, France and North Africa. Departing out of Dover, England, the Northern European cruises will sail from June 12 to July 18, visiting St. Petersburg, Oslo, Copenhagen and other enchanting ports.

To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, guests can visit disneycruise.com, call Disney Cruise Line at 888-DCL-2500 or contact your travel agent.

Video: Donald Duck scouts Alaska for Disney Cruise Line’s first visit

Donald duck alaska

For the first time ever, Disney Cruise Line will offer Alaskan cruises during a four-month season of seven-night sailings aboard the Disney Wonder in summer 2011. The Disney Wonder will depart out of Vancouver, B.C., calling on popular ports such as Juneau, Ketchikan and Skagway.

Before and after the 2011 summer season in Alaska, the Disney Wonder will sail seven-night Mexican Riviera cruises from the Port of Los Angeles to Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta. This will be the first time a Disney cruise ship will call the West Coast home for an entire year.

In response to guest demand, the Disney Magic will once again return to the Mediterranean in 2011 with 10- and 11-night cruises sailing out of Barcelona. In addition to popular ports in Italy, France and Spain, the Disney Magic will visit Tunis in northern Africa and the island nation of Malta.

“We’re excited to offer this incredible choice of itineraries for 2011, with cruise vacation options for every family — whether that’s outdoor adventure in Alaska, the beauty and culture of Europe, folklore and pageantry of Mexico or tropical fun in the Caribbean,” said Disney Cruise Line President Karl Holz. “The unique advantage of Disney Cruise Line is that we offer a customized ship experience that brings families together, while still catering to the personalized vacation needs of every guest who sails with us.”

Disney Cruise Line also will offer a number of repositioning cruises and special sailings in 2011, including a 15-night Panama Canal crossing, two 14-night transatlantic voyages, a five- and six-night cruise from Los Angeles to Vancouver, and Vancouver to Los Angeles, with first-ever stops in San Francisco and Victoria, B.C., and 10- and 11-night holiday sailings to the Mexican Riviera and the eastern Caribbean.

Guests can now book Disney Wonder and Disney Magic itineraries for the 2011 season.

Here’s a video of Donald Duck on an Alaskan adventure.