Carnival Magic comes to Galveston


This is just one of three cruise ships that are new to Galveston this year alone. The decision to launch from here is popular among local customers who say they love the convenience.

It is estimated that Carnival's 1,004 foot "Magic," and another ship called "Triumph" that launched last month from Galveston, will bring in a combined $10 million to the island next year. Overall the cruise industry brings in $34 million.

The decision to come here is a welcome one for local hotels, stores and restaurants still bouncing back from Hurricane Ike.

The "Magic" is the largest ship ever to be based out of Galveston year-round. It boasts a passenger load of 3,690 people. A $12.5 million renovation was necessary just to accommodate its size. Carnival says its ships will now carry 450,000 guests annually from Galveston -- an increase of 28 percent over last year.

Princess, Royal Caribbean and Disney are also contributing to the cruising boom in Galveston. Together with the two Carnival ships, a total of five new ships will be operating here between this year and next. People taking this cruise say they're already interested in the others.

"Disne -- we're taking our grandkids on that one. It will be when they get a little bit older so they can remember it," said cruise passenger Patty Abschneider. "They are little right now but we definitely plan on trying every new cruise line here in Galveston. We will be doing those."

"This is a comeback for Galveston. All the cruise lines choosing right here because it is so close to open water," said passenger David Abschneider. "We went out one time to Barbours Cut, but still all of the ships have to back track here anyway to come out, so this is a great place."

"The average person that comes to Galveston spends $103 per day. So, it really is something that we are excited about and we know that is something going to impact us," said Leah Cast with the Galveston Convention and Visitor's Bureau.

This ship will travel to the Caribbean and Mexico on a weeklong cruises that cost anywhere from $530 to more than a $1,000. Disney also has a ship called "Magic" and it launches in September of 2012.

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