Disney Magic cruise ship sails out of Galveston

September 22, 2012 3:18:34 PM PDT
The Disney Magic cruise ship made its maiden voyage from Galveston to the Caribbean on Saturday.

It was quite the sight to see the black hull of the Disney ship, since most people on the island are used to seeing the white hulls of Carnival and Royal Caribbean ships.

About 100 people came out to watch the Magic slip into its berth.

For years, the main industry in Galveston has been tourism, and the cruise business is part of that. But on Saturday, you could say the island's ship really came in.

Early Saturday morning, the Disney Magic sailed into the Galveston ship channel to a Texas welcome. The Disney cruise line is new to these waters.

Guests in the first group to sail from Texas on a Disney ship boarded early -- some in T-shirts they designed themselves.

It is the characters Walt Disney brought to life to which kids young and old can relate, but the magic of Disney goes beyond that. There are luxury touches on the Magic, such as a rainforest spa for tired travellers and opulent dining rooms -- one for adults only.

But it's the family-friendly element that's attracting guests, like the Lawsons from Oklahoma. This is their very first cruise, and they're here because the Magic's new home port is Galveston...

"That's what made the decision to go ahead and do it," Adam Lawson said. "We wanted to go but couldn't afford the airfare to Florida plus the cruise. So you just got in the car and drove."

They arrived a day early for the cruise, which means they spent money on the island. That's a ripple effect of having a high-profile ship like this. Travel agents expect a lot of that.

"It has been such a phenomenal savings opportunity for our clients," said Theresa Corey with Fairy Godmother Travel. "They love saving on the airfare. They don't have to fly into Anaheim or Orlando."

The Magic sailed down the channel late Saturday afternoon, bound for the western Caribbean and two ports of call.

The inaugural voyage from the port of Galveston is a six-night cruise. Four- and eight-night cruises are being added next year.

Disney is the parent company of ABC13.

For more information about cruises on the Disney Magic, visit the Disney Cruise Line website.


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