is the newest ship in the Carnival
It recently came to Galveston to take the place of the
has our group booked for a trip on the Magic October 14-21
Our destination will be the Bahamas
and Key West.
The last time we
went to the Bahamas, we took 190 people. Wouldn't it be
fun to beat that number? I'm sure Marla wouldn't mind. We aren't quite
ready to take reservations yet, but you are welcome to email
Marla with a question any time you wish.
November 13, Carnival invited
travel agents and business people throughout the Southwest
region for an Open House party down in Galveston. Marla and I were privileged to be
among those who were
invited to the Magic Inaugural Event.
Although I had a
few nitpicks, overall Marla and I agreed the Magic is a very
impressive ship. And I must add that Carnival really
did go all out to make everyone feel welcome.
to whet your appetite, here is a preview of the new Magic.
Marla's Big Adventure aboard the Magic
The Magic is Carnival's newest ship in the ship.
impression was that it is big. How big? Almost as big as
For starters, the Magic
holds 3,700 passengers. Our SSQQ Group probably won't notice
much of a
difference since the Carnival Conquest, our previous Galveston-based
ship, held 3,000.
Starting in 2007, our SSQQ Travel Group
took 5 voyages on the Conquest, one
trip a year for 5 years.
On our recent
Labor Day 2011 Cruise I actually began to feel at
home on the Conquest for the first time. The decision to make
Alfred's Lounge, our favorite dance, non-smoking area made all the
difference. Now, just when I get
comfortable, the Conquest is gone. Naturally I was curious
to see what this new ship had to offer.
The Port of Galveston
is having a very good year. Galveston has
to be proud. The arrival of the Magic marks the third new cruise ship in
this year. Island officials hope the ship will bring the island more
tourism dollars. The Magic could have gone to
many different ports, but Galveston was the winner. This marks a
real milestone in
efforts to market the port city as a cruising destination.
"It shows the major cruise lines understand
the appeal of Galveston and are choosing to invest in it over other
popular markets," said Leah Cast, a spokeswoman for the Galveston
Island Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Leah Cast added, "As the only cruise port in the
State of Texas, the Port of
Galveston has worked diligently with the Texas travel industry to
maintain our ranking as one of the top ten cruise ports in the
"As the only
cruise port in the State of Texas..."
Technically speaking, this
statement is incorrect. The Port of Houston also has an
excellent cruise terminal. The only problem is that no cruise
lines actually use it. They always say, "If you build it, they
will come." It turns out this sweet axiom isn't
always true. The Bayport terminal stays idle.
I have never quite
figured out what the problem is. After all, the Port of
Houston has the advantage of being 20 miles from Houston
Intercontinental Airport while the Port of Galveston is 60 miles
away. You would assume that this proximity to Houston would offer an edge of
sorts, but apparently not.
They say life is long
and concrete lasts nearly forever. Maybe someday this
convenient, modern Bayport facility will be home to a cruise line. However,
as it stands, the existence of Houston's shiny new and completely
unoccupied cruise terminal remains a major embarrassment... and
those of us who live in Houston probably should get used to driving an hour further.
ships coming to the new Port of Houston cruise terminal
Shiny new port terminal has everything
BILL HENSEL JR., Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle
Published May 16, 2008
The new cruise terminal at Bayport was supposed to open this spring,
but it will now be later in the summer upon its completion. No
cruise line has been signed up yet to dock at new terminal.
The gleaming new $81 million cruise
terminal at the Port of Houston will open soon, but don't expect
throngs of passengers, streamers or cracking champagne bottles.
Or a ship, for
Port officials haven't yet secured a deal with any cruise operators,
and officials say ships probably won't start setting sail from the
Bayport berth until fall 2009, even though the facility should be
finished by the end of this summer.
"That is the primary next season we are looking at, although there
is a chance of a vessel earlier," said Wade Battles, managing
director of the Port of Houston Authority.
Port officials are in talks with Holland America Line, Princess
Cruises, Mediterranean Shipping Co.'s MSC Cruises and Norwegian
Cruise Line, he said. However, those lines have made no public
indication that Houston might be on their maps anytime soon.
One culprit for the delay is the weak dollar. Experts say cruise
lines that prefer to be paid in more valuable euros are
concentrating on the European market, making life tough for U.S.
ports of call.
But Barry Klein, a taxpayer advocate who worked against the bond
proposal to fund development of the overall Bayport complex,
questioned the push for the cruise terminal.
"The port authority jumped into the market before the market
actually sensed a need," said Klein, who is president of the Houston
Property Rights Association. "Now I guess they are having sort of a
setback before even having one open."
Harris County Judge Ed Emmett said Wednesday that the port authority
was in detailed negotiations at one point with one of the lines, but
it just didn't work out.
"I'm not worried long term. We will get something," Emmett said. "I
have confidence in the folks at the port. They will get a cruise
line. I know everybody is a little frustrated at the delay."
Note: Emmett made that statement 3 years ago. Currently
Galveston has 7 cruise ships lined up. Houston has none.
I think the die is cast. They might want to find another use
for that terminal.)
I hope you are not a
firm believer in the importance of a good first impression. If
that's the case, you will be disappointed. The Lobby of the
Carnival Magic is without a doubt the least impressive
Lobby-Centrum-Atrium whatever you want to call it of any cruise ship
I have ever seen.
The first thing we saw
upon entering the ship were some line dancers performing on a dance
floor that was narrowly wedged between the back of an elevator array and a bar.
If you like Vegas decor, then you will like the Lobby.
It is very neon. But
I think what looks like Vegas should stay in Vegas. This Lobby lacks the panache you would expect in
the NEWEST cruise ship in the Carnival line. They say pictures
are worth a thousand words, so I will let you decide for yourself.
The pictured dance floor does not
feel like a
"special area" at all. It is so narrow, the dance floor seems more
like a walkway. There will be people walking through
this area all the time.
The Lobby does not have
an inviting atmosphere. There is nothing soft or comfortable
about it. Unlike the lobbies on previous ships, it is not a
place I would go to relax.
By comparison, here is
the identical area on the Conquest. I liked the Conquest
Lobby. As you can see, the Conquest Lobby conveys a sense of
warmth while the Magic Lobby above feels cold by comparison.
The Conquest picture
helps to identify something very important what is missing on the
Magic - the Conquest had a place for a band and a singer to
perform. In addition,
there was at least 20 more
feet of space between the bar and the elevators on the Conquest than
on the Magic.
Let me add there was lush carpeting to
soften things and add warmth.
I guess my biggest
objection to the Lobby on the Magic is that the central feature
seems to be the bar and little else. There isn't even that
much seating in other parts of the room. Besides the bar, the
only other thing to look at are the elevators. I might add
those elevators are not attractive.
As I said, the decor leans heavily
on a Vegas neon feel that borders on garish. There are a couple of
windows on this level, but they don't help to brighten the area very
much. The area feels dark.
I can't see our
group ever congregating in this particular spot in our tuxes and
gowns for a night of elegant Ballroom dancing as we did on the
Conquest. I can't imagine
where they would even put a band and a pretty lounge singer if they
were determined to.
As this picture reveals,
there is no possible way to fit a dance combo in this area unless
they put something in on the side. Instead of a platform for a
singer, they substituted a DJ in an elevated booth overlooking the
bar and the dance floor.
(By the way, I just read
a passenger's review of the Magic that suggested there was a
live band in this area. Interesting)
As an informal dance
area, I am sure this spot will be useful for our late night dancing.
After all, who else would bother being here late at night?
There are plenty of other drinking spots.
The Magic Lobby definitely
isn't the same spot it was on the Conquest. The Magic
Lobby has no place for people to go sit and relax. It is such
an unfriendly environment that I almost wonder if it is deliberate.
Since there are many highly attractive areas in other parts of the
ship, this drab environment seems to say, "Have a drink while you
are waiting in line at the Guest Relations desk, but go somewhere
else to have a good time."
Here are some pictures
of the Lobby on the Rhapsody, our much-beloved ship from the
early 2000s. The Rhapsody was a much smaller ship, but it had
beauty and style in every corner.
The Rhapsody was a
floating jewel. More than a
million dollars was spent on Rhapsody's art collection, an unusually
high figure for a ship with fares in the low midrange.
The Rhapsody greeted its
guests with a soaring, seven-deck atrium that was stunningly
The Rhapsody Centrum as
it was called had floors of stately white marble softened by
plentiful organic elements: windows everywhere, bright sunlight,
living plants, soft leathers, muted wood tones, tiny waterfalls, and
kinetic water sculptures.
Dancing in the Centrum
was a real pleasure.
The Centrum had a very
attractive circular wood dance floor. We danced Ballroom to a
band situated just off the dance floor. It isn't easy to see
the piano standing right behind the indoor palm tree, but you should be
able to spot the
area where the Ballroom trio would set up to play their music.
Adding to the
breath-taking beauty of the Centrum was a unique centerpiece
called the "Diadem".
This vast flowing
a six-story construction of curved wood, metal, enamel and composites.
The Diadem was
so tall it could be seen
from every level of the ship. Wherever you were on the ship,
this sculpture was a pleasure to behold.
The Diadem gave a blend
of images from the heavens and the seas. In the center of the
wood frame rested an orb of blue and green cloisonné (the turquoise
blue sphere at the bottom) surrounded by stars and moons.
The basic idea
behind the Diadem was "Music of the Spheres" which
the beauty of the Oceans and the Heavens could be expressed
through music... a "Rhapsody" if you please.
The entire ship
exuded class and tastefulness.
That is my friend Betty
Richardson sitting contentedly in the Rhapsody Centrum. Marla
and I were married on the Rhapsody in 2004. After the
ceremony, I remember sitting with Marla down in this Lobby feeling
about as happy and at peace as is humanly possible. The richness of
the colors was so relaxing. It was always a joy to visit this area.
As you have probably
concluded, I am quite the "Lobbyist".
Now that you can see
what a beautiful Lobby can bring to a cruise ship, I think I have made
The new Carnival Magic has a lot going for it, but
it sure could use a better lobby.
Considering how much money
Carnival invested in this ship, the barren Lobby on the Magic simply made no
sense to me.
Suites on the Magic
Marla and I didn't get to look at any cabins
or suites besides our own. Here is a picture of the cabin we
stayed in. It was attractive, clean and comfortable. Other than
the flat screen TV, Marla and I failed to notice any unusual new
After all the mean
things I said about the Lobby, it might surprise you to learn I have
no criticism of our room.
In fact, I only had two
criticisms of the entire ship. First and foremost was the
dreary Lobby. My other criticism was
the lack of any kind of general theme or motif used to decorate the
Considering the ship's
name was "Magic", I would have assumed a theme of magicians would
have been an easy decor to pull off. However, I never saw a
single thing to suggest such a thing. Whatever "Magic"
this ship professes to have, it isn't the David Copperfield or Harry
Houdini type of Magic, that's for sure.
This room, for example,
had a nice picture above the bed. However, the picture was not
related to anything "magical".
Most cruise ships decorate
around a common theme. While the Magic lacked any
sort of theme, its predecessor the Conquest served as a floating tribute to famous French artists. Pictures
of French art could be seen throughout the ship.
The entire ship was
decorated in an Impressionist theme with a little psychedelic Moulin
Rouge - lots of crazy colors and patterns and shapes - thrown in for
The murals copying the works of the art masters
were scattered all over the ship, everywhere from elevator ceilings
to the atrium. Even the cabins and the
hallways were covered with French art.
Many of the public rooms
were named for art masters such as Van Gogh, Degas, and Renoir. There was a Degas Lounge,
a Cezanne Dining Room, a Vincent's Smoking Lounge and a Monet Dining Room.
One of the reasons that
the Conquest Lobby was one my favorite places on the ship was this stunning mural
with its tapestry of images. The mural was at least 30 feet
wide and 40 feet tall. It could be seen
directly above the dance area in the Lobby.
This picture gives just a hint of the various images. There is much
more that is
missing. For example, you can see a hint of Paul Gaugin's
Tahitian painting "Joyousness" down at the bottom.
As I said, this mural
was right above our heads. As I sat and watched my friends dancing
in the Lobby, I would occasionally look up and admire this stunning vista
I freely admit I
am no art expert. For example, I have no idea who
the beautiful woman is in the mural or who the artist is (if you
know, please tell me! aha, I found it - Woman w a Pearl
Necklace by Mary Cassatt). But
that didn't keep me from appreciating the beauty of the art.
Of course I am hardly an
expert on Cruise Ship decor either, but if the Magic had any sort of overall scheme, it escaped
With that, I conclude my
two main criticisms of the Magic. Fortunately, these are just
aesthetics. When it came to amenities, the Magic delivered.
I think this
buffet-style dining area is titled the Lido. It serves the same function as the
Cezanne Restaurant did on the Conquest. This is the "eat
whenever you feel like it" dining area including pizza and ice
cream late at night.
As the picture shows,
this area features a sense of privacy with fully enclosed booths.
Please note the stairs.
On the Conquest, these stairs led to a second story eating area that
the SSQQ Travel Group would use as our impromptu daily meeting
On the Magic, we will
need to find another area to take its place. This particular second
level area has
been converted into the Cucina del Capitano Italian
Cucina del Capitano
pays homage to Carnival's Italian heritage. From what I
gather, many of its ships were built in Italy. I might add
that the Magic's Captain, Giovanni Cutugno, appears to be from Italy.
In addition to the
Cucina del Capitano, there is a fancy steakhouse located on
another deck. You probably already know this, but a growing
trend on the new ships is to offer fine dining on board that you pay
Personally, I dislike
the concept. Once upon a time, cruise ships promised "fine
dining" in their main dining rooms.
So if the "fine dining"
experience is starting to move to these fancy private areas where
you pay extra, then what does that say about the "fine dining" in
the main dining areas?
It seems to me like they
are trying to find a way to make the customer pay extra for something
that used to be included in the price tag. Now don't go
faulting just Carnival. RCCL does it too. I just don't
like the trend.
Lights and Northern Lights Dining Rooms
There are two "swanky"
main dining areas on the Magic. I wasn't quite sure what the theme
was here either, but fortunately it was explained to me. The
icy blue lighting suggests the auroras which lend their name to the
One area that is a definite
improvement is the pool area at the back of the ship. On the
Conquest, this was an area I pretty much ignored, but on the Magic I
It is a very attractive
venue featuring not just one, but two excellent hot tubs.
The split level swimming
pool was also interesting. It looked like the perfect spot for
some water volleyball. So what if the ball landed in the
In the picture on the
right below, you can see the other hot tub. It didn't have any
water in it, but I am sure it worked.
Just one deck above the
hot tub was a viewing deck that had wonderful romantic possibilities
late at night. I will share a picture of this area further on.
The theater on the Magic
is huge and attractive.
There are a couple of
unusual features. The chairs on the upper levels are
straight-backed. The jury is out on these, but I suppose they
have been tested for comfort.
The seats down in front all
have their own tables for drinks. I thought that was unusual
since it reduced the seating. But on the other it increased
the leg room.
The one thing I have to
say is that the dance show they put on that night was one of the
best shows I have ever seen on a cruise ship. Too bad they
didn't allow pictures.
The show featured dance
tunes of the Seventies. The two vocalists were so talented
they danced right alongside the company AS THEY SANG. Pretty
impressive. I can't sing worth a lick as it is, but I sure
can't sing and dance at the same time.
Let me add the dancers
were beautiful and very talented. It was a great show. I
hope I get to see it again in October 2012.
Let me say this again:
Carnival went all out. In addition to the wonderful dance
show, our dinner was delicious... and free!
As you can see, the bar
area in the Lobby was kept busy. There was complimentary
alcohol all day and all night long. I had two pina coladas in
the afternoon and two glasses of wine at dinner. The next day I felt
like a truck had hit me.
Considering the amount
of drinking I saw, I imagine there were some serious hangovers the
next day. Fortunately we are all given our own cabins, so we
were able to take the elevator home.
Free booze and a cabin
to sleep it off in was an invitation for some heavy drinking.
The place got pretty wild. I heard the party lasted well into the
By the way, there is an
SSQQ Celebrity in this picture. That is Sorrell Warren in the
white shirt sitting on the upper level. Sorrell is a long-time
SSQQ member. He is also very successful. Sorrell is now
a vice-president at Vacations to Go, the travel agency that helped
our travel group get started.
and Piano Bar
This is the Steakhouse
on the right. This venue occupies the
same spot that the area known as "Vincent's" holds on the Conquest.
Below are two pictures of
the Piano Bar. The Piano Bar was located in the exact same
location as the Piano Bar on the Conquest, but it was a larger and
more open area.
was empty in the afternoon when I was in a
picture-taking mood, but later that night it was definitely packed.
If you study the
picture below, you will notice the piano is located inside the circular bar. This
encourages people to drink while they sing. Considering the booze
was free for the evening, there was a lot of singing when Marla and I passed by.
This was probably the happiest spot on the ship.
The Piano Man was quite
outgoing. He would sing a line, the crowd would sing a line,
then they would sing together. Thanks to his leadership, the energy
here was very high.
The Spotlight Lounge is
in the same spot as the Degas Lounge on the Conquest. This newer version
of the same place is a definite upgrade. The size of the Lounge
is about the same, but the dance floor is much larger. Plus
its circular design allow more styles of dancing than the narrow
rectangle dance floor in the Degas Lounge.
they let us use it for Late Night Dancing, I don't see us dancing
here much. The brochure said this is where the karaoke will
take place. When we came back that
evening, this area was used for comedy. Between karaoke and
comedy, I don't see this as a likely dance venue. If so, too
bad. The lounge had a very pretty dance floor.
The Vibe Disco appeared
to be an upgrade over its Conquest counterpart known as "Henri's".
When Marla and I first
walked by in the afternoon, The Vibe was being used
for a sales meeting. If you look in the picture below, you can
at least see the dance floor
Not only was the dance floor larger,
didn't have those strange plastic squares that served as a dance
floor in Henri's. Instead it was replaced by what appeared to
be linoleum tiles. No problem. With dance wax, this is
an excellent surface.
By the way, have you ever been in a
purple Disco before?
Well, be careful not to
wear purple or you might accidentally become invisible. This
place gave new meaning to the phrase "Purple Haze".
could have sworn I saw Barney the Dinosaur out on the floor, but it
might have been my imagination.
Red Frog Pub
This area was a new
feature on the Magic. I don't recall a similar venue on the
There have always been
places to get a drink on a cruise ship, but this is
first place that could be called an actual "bar" that I have seen.
This large facility
has several different rooms to sit in and all sorts of things to do and look
The Pub is basically exactly
as advertised - a place to go to drink with your friends... a
floating Cheers so to speak.
The decor is described
as "Caribbean Meets Key West".
I got Marla to play a
game of foosball with me, but we had to quit because I felt it was
my sacred duty
to take more pictures and explore more.
Marla said I quit
because she was winning, but we all know that couldn't possibly be
Every cruise ship I have
been on has open areas for sitting and chatting with friends.
However the Magic took this concept to a higher level. I have
a feeling the Ocean Plaza was designed to replace the traditional
function of the Lobby as a comfortable meeting area or place to sit
The Ocean Plaza is very
large. This picture doesn't begin to convey the size of the
room. By the way, you can't see them, but just to
the left is a special hot tub area known as the Lanai and just to the
right is a major dance venue.
Here is a picture of the fancy fish-shaped
hot tub located outside the Ocean Plaza. It is 30 feet from the dance floor. I
can see our group alternating between the tub and the dance floor
during the day.
The large dance floor will likely be our main
dance venue. It is a classy area complete with a stage for a band. It
will likely be our after-dinner Ballroom dance area on Formal Night.
Besides the attractive wood floor, there are large stretches
of nearby walkway space perfect for us to use as overflow dance areas.
attractive Library also doubles as a Game Room.
Hearts? Spades? Blockus?
complaint about this room is that it is too bright.
How can I cheat
at cards with this kind of lighting?
Hat Trick Casino
The Hat Trick Casino on
the Magic was the largest casino I have ever seen on a cruise ship.
I must say it is also
the most attractive casino I have ever seen. Although the
didn't put much thought into the Lobby, they obviously
put serious energy into this room. The Casino is a very elegant
One feature I thought
was interesting was a congregating area inside the Casino (see
I have never seen this feature before.
Now why people would sit and mingle in a Casino instead of gambling
was not explained to me. That said, since I am not a gambler,
I took it for granted that the designers knew what they were doing.
The most spectacular new
feature on the Magic has to be the Waterworld complex. This
was the first time I had ever truly grasped the meaning of the
phrase "knock your socks off".
There was water
cascading down from above into a wading area that was much too
irresistible. It didn't even occur to
me there were no other guests out there. I was more than ready to go out there
and get soaking wet!! Why not? I had a change of
in large part to what I call the devastating "pina colada effect", I
actually began to take off my socks and shoes and roll up my pants. I honestly did not have the will power to stop
myself. However, once Marla gave me "The Look", I came to my
senses and reluctantly began to put my shoes back on. It had
been a very close call.
There were two
incredibly long water
slides, much longer than any I have ever seen on a cruise ship.
One of the ladies who worked there said there was a side panel on
one of the slides that could be opened to let someone shoot far out
to sea. The lady flashed a wicked
smile as she pointed out she could get rid of any bratty kid who gave her
too much trouble.
Marla asked what the
price was for a husband.
Another knock your socks
off feature was the giant movie screen. I was still suffering
from the Pina Colada effect as I walked by.
I noticed the crowd was
mesmerized by a rock concert. So I asked a nearby kid which
Maroon 5. I had vaguely
heard of them. Weren't they the band
who won for favorite
pop-rock band at the recent American Music
The kid looked at me
kind of funny.
Yeah, that's them.
Smug at my vast knowledge,
I kept walking. I thought it was some video. Big deal.
It wasn't till I sobered
up the next day and read the Chronicle that I realized this group
was performing a live concert at that very moment down on the pier
It was sort of like
walking past the Beatles.
Ho hum. Oobla di, oobla da.
A new feature on the
Magic was their unusual ropes course.
The elevated ropes
course envelopes the entire complex. There are said to be 20
different rope activities that vary in difficulty.
Hope you don't get
intimidated by heights. You can see the ocean calling to you
150 feet below. If you fall, you hit the water. There is
one particular rope challenge they call "Shark's Feeding Frenzy."
I love a dark sense of humor.
That said, I saw people
getting strapped in, so I assume it is safe to participate.
I think the rope course
is Carnival's answer to the rock climbing walls on RCCL ships.
I hate those rock climbing walls because they hurt my hands.
Too much suffering and not enough fun.
But those rope climbs
did look interesting. Although I heard they were harder than
they look, I would like to try them.
Floor on the Ship
Okay, I will admit I got my nose bent out of shape.
I discovered this
awesome dance floor. As you can see, the floor was large and
very pretty. In fact, the entire room was very tastefully
decorated. It was definitely one of the most attractive rooms
on the entire ship.
And guess what?
This entire lounge is for teenagers.
We get the Lobby and
they get this? Who's paying for this trip, anyway? It
definitely isn't the kids.
Considering there are
typically no more than 10 teenagers on the trips we take during the
school year, this seems like an incredible waste of an awesome dance
venue. The room is spacious, pretty, and very comfortable.
It is perfect of our needs.
Maybe we can talk the
ship into letting us borrow the area late at night. Aren't all
teenagers expected to be in bed by midnight?
Here is another look at
the dance area reserved for the adults. Although it isn't nearly as
pretty as the Teen Lounge dance floor, I do think the area will be very effective for our dancing.
Not only is the floor
large, there are several areas nearby we can use for dancing when this
floor gets too crowded. No matter how good the band is, we can
definitely find a place for everyone to dance. Plus there is plenty of
I imagine we will
get a lot of attention when we dance here. The main walkway between the Red Frog
Pub to the Casino goes right past this dance floor. I suppose many
people will stop to watch.
I just like the area the
kids get better. You know me, I like having a private area all
The Magic gets very
pretty at night, especially outdoors.
This elevated area at
the very back of the ship seems perfect for moonlight hugging and
Considering my romance
with Marla started at night on a cruise ship, I can vouch for the power of a
starry night embrace.
I suppose a lovely
private setting just like this would be perfect for sweeping a
pretty girl off her feet.
In fact, I was
considering doing that exact thing to my wife. I can assure you that
the area in the picture was very tempting.
If I wasn't committed to
my sacred mission of taking as many hot tub pictures as humanly
possible, I might have lured Marla over to one of those couches for
an instant replay of our Magic Moment.
The Cloud Nine Spa
There were a lot of a
very attractive new features on the Magic. To name a few,
the Waterworks, the exquisitely designed pool areas, the
giant TV screen, the attractive hot tubs, the large gathering areas
such as the Ocean Plaza, the Red Frog Pub, and of course the romantic
area at the back of the ship.
question, the single most unusual new feature on the Magic had to be their
gigantic spa complex.
My old dance studio on
Bissonnet was about 6,000 square feet. This spa is 22,770
square feet. That makes the spa on the Magic almost four times larger than SSQQ!!
Everywhere you look,
there is something amazing. For example, these heated
stone lounge chairs
are exquisite. Marla absolutely loved laying on one. The heat from the chair permeated through her body. For a
brief moment in time, all of her aches and pains were relieved.
Marla wasn't alone. Every woman in the room was moaning and sighing with
happiness. Ooh! Aah! Ummm!
Above the spa there is an area known as the "Serenity Deck". I never saw this
area so I don't know what it looks like.
The Serenity Deck is
said to be adults-only. Although the Sally Fields-lookalike in the
picture clearly has her clothes on, the rumor was that this was a
'clothing optional' area. Considering this is the highest point
on the ship, privacy is definitely assured.
I may never know what
this area looks like. I don't think I am allowed up there.
Hopefully someone from
our SSQQ Travel Group will be brave enough or single enough to confirm this rumor for me on our
October 2012 trip.
What I did see was a
Meditation Room (pictured directly above). It was a very
attractive, peaceful area indeed.
One very strange feature
of the Spa was the presence of 20 or so private massage rooms.
The sheer number of all those rooms was unsettling. While I am
quite sure people enjoy massages and all that, I cannot for the life
of me imagine there are 20 people an hour who want massages.
I did not see the
Fitness Center, but I heard it was beautiful, large, and state of
the art. I guess I can take their word for it.
On the other hand, maybe
I shouldn't take their word for it.
What is wrong with this
First of all, I have
never been in an exercise class where all
the women are as preposterously thin and well-curved as the models in this picture.
Second, I don't know how
you feel about it, but I am suspicious of anyone who smiles and
laughs while they are working out.
Whenever I work out, I
am screaming in pain because every part of my body aches.
That's why I hate this
picture. Exercise should not look this fun.
One thing I did see was the
Mother of all Hot Tubs.
The official name for this bubbling, seething
cauldron is a "Thalassotherapy Pool". This term was all Greek to
Oh, what do you know...
it actually is a Greek word. It means 'healing through sea
water'. There are said to be special medicinal elements in the water
that will make everything in your body feel and work better. The
brochure even hinted that the water's special properties were
"Magical" in nature.
Hmm. We may have
finally found what is Magic on Magic.
I only have one
question. Are the waters in this tub more magic than
Handsome George's cure-all Gatorade?
The one thing I am
certain of is when Phyllis Phrog sees this spa, she will take one
look and conclude that all previous SSQQ 'hot tub stuffing records'
I suppose there is
always the chance that the Staff will frown on wasting their valuable
Magic Waters on silly hot tub stuffers. If that's the case,
we can always turn our sights to the Lanai Hot Tub, the fish-shaped hot tub I wrote about earlier. This picture gives
a great view of the potential value.
As you can see, there is
a little party area. Even better, people will be walking by
all the time... the Lanai is advertised as "The Place" to take a
stroll. The recruiting possibilities are endless. Get a
net and snag people as they walk by. This
could easily become the Hot Tub of our Dreams.
I came away from our
scouting mission with the conclusion that the Magic is basically a
souped-up version of the Conquest.
If you liked sailing on
the Conquest, you will like this ship even better. It has
everything the Conquest had and much more.
And guess what?
Here is a picture of yet another hot tub I have not yet revealed.
I didn't see this tub personally, but I found a picture of it in the
brochure they gave us.
Assuming some crafty
Carnival publicist isn't
adding hot tubs that don't really exist,
are at least five different hot tubs on this ship... enough to play
a Gatorade-inspired game of musical hot tubs.
Are you happy yet?
I know some of you will
be homesick for the Conquest. For that matter, I am still
homesick for the Rhapsody. Every ship has different features,
some better, some worse.
As for the new Magic, it
has plenty of amazing features. With five hot tubs, the stunning
swimming pool, the Texas-sized TV, and the exciting Waterworld, I am sure we will
find some way to cope.
When it comes to
cruising, we are tough crowd, yes? We never complain about
anything and we adapt to every new environment effortlessly, don't
The one thing I am not
worried about is the dancing. Our group has always found a way
to dance to our heart's content on every ship we have ever been on.
Even ships with limited
dance areas are sufficient because no one else on board dares to
dance when we take the floor. Whatever floor there is belongs
to us. But floor space shouldn't be a problem on the Magic.
The ship is full of possible areas for us to dance.
I realize that every one
of you (including me) is spoiled rotten and we want everything just
the way we want it. There are bound to be a few changes we
aren't happy with, but I think we will survive just fine on our new ship.
Look at it this way -
whenever the changes get to us, you can join me and we
will go find in search of inner peace on the Serenity Deck. Oops, I forgot.
I'm not allowed up there. Well, how about the Meditation Room
Thanks for reading,