Carnival Magic debuts with familiar new features

Carnival Cruise Lines latest ship, Carnival Magic, debuted Sunday in Venice, Italy. The sold-out inaugural event will visit six Mediterranean ports on its nine-night first sailing. But this story is more than just the latest launch of the latest big floating hotel from the latest cruise line currently in the spotlight. Carnival Magic was built on an evolving foundation of success that will carry her well into the future.

On board to christen the ship was unlikely Godmother Lindsey Wilkerson, cancer-survivor-turned-spokesperson for St Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Diagnosed, treated, then into remission at an early age, Wilkerson’s inspirational story had been circulated by the cruise line extensively prior to the event. But the story took on profound new meaning when veteran cruise director John Heald had Wilkerson’s family join her on stage at the ship’s christening event.

In a moment that defined Carnival’s clear commitment to family, values and the future of the cruise industry, Wilkerson’s adorable daughter (who might not have been) took the stage, bringing tears to the eyes of many in the audience.

3,690-passenger Carnival Magic also happens to be the 100th ship built by parent Carnival Corporation so opening festivities included a good measure of tradition that is reflected in on board offerings.

New features include Cucina Del Capitano, an Italian eatery celebrating the line’s Italian lineage, the Red Frog Pub, a Caribbean-inspired bar with it’s own micro-brew, and SportSquare, an outdoor recreation area that continues an industry-wide focus on fitness and health.

For fans of cruise vacations, there is nothing quite like sailing on the inaugural voyage of a shiny new ship. Cruise lines introduce the latest features and inaugural events bring global attention. Records are broken, memories are made and the mood is festive. This one looks to be all that. More importantly, onboard programming builds upon Carnival’s clear understanding of its trademark “Fun” element.

Placing even more emphasis on signature features like an expanded adults-only Serenity area and Waterworks aqua park, Carnival proves once again how well they know their customers.

What Carnival does not talk about is their ability to seamlessly integrate all the ingredients they offer in their recipe for a great travel experience. That recipe, when fully embraced, allows guests to leave behind their cares, relax and refresh then move forward, renewed with a clarity difficult to emulate with other travel options.

That’s probably for the best.

A good magician never tells how the trick is done.

Chris is being sponsored by Carnival Cruise Lines on this sailing but free to report on any and all aspects of the experience. Chris is available to answer any questions you may have during the voyage that concludes in Barcelona May 10.