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.Â 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 cafÃ© 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.Â 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