Magic Galveston

There are two incentives to make this trip. Galveston Texas is a fascinating small city, and Carnival’s new ship, Magic soon starts sailing from there with me aboard.

I booked air to Houston on Southwest. This is the first time for me on this ubiquitous airline, and I’ll be happy to take it again. Here’s a hint if you fly Southwest: For ten bucks you can be first to board in section “A”. You also can check in online 12 hours before “the others.” Be sure to check to see the best place to plunk.

The flight to Houston was smooth, on time, and goodies were distributed, and two bags; no charge.

The drive to Galveston is about 45 minutes, with lots of Texas space, some taken up by the Space Center (sorry). Then Galveston. As I approached I couldn’t help but notice the out lying homes build on pylons to escape flooding waters from hurricanes.

After the big storm in the late 1800s, the worst natural disaster in history, an immense seawall was erected

and Galveston also raised the level of the ocean facing part of the island. Yup, raised it. But, Ike came a few years ago and frustrated by all this, Ike’s water was forced into the bay, and, yes, the lower part of Galveston got very damp. The salt water killed the roots of most of the island’s Oak trees, but hey this is Galveston. The wood from removed dead oaks has been made into lovely bowls, and some of the still standing dead remains, cut to about 6 feet tall have been beautifully carved.

Galveston has mansions built over 100 years ago,

and more recent less sedate homes.

Oh, and just houses too.

It is quite a mix.

I stayed at Hotel Galvez which is across the road from the beach and just hit the century mark.

It is rumored to be haunted, especially on the 5th floor. My room was on the 5th floor. I was, of course, not concerned, but late at night I heard a barely audible moaning. It was a woman’s voice. My pulse doubled and I thought “Wow, it’s true.” Then I remembered the huge wedding party in the hotel earlier. Oh well.

There are many things to see and do in Galveston. My favorite, especially for families, was the Schlitterbahn Waterpark. Slides,

ride the waves,

splash around,

and river raft.

Christmas rules the area; lights, decorations, and even Santa raising kids hopes. Thanksgiving?? well, it’s kind of on the way.

When you sail Carnival from Galveston, be sure and spend a couple of days in this great community. Be sure to eat at Rudy and Pacos.

The Magic is in town!The new Magic holds 3,690 passengers. We will be full for the cruise, but tonight is Gala night for half of Texas to explore the ship, eat, and overnight. The booze was free for all. Late at night some staggered down the passageways putting their card keys into slot after slot.

“What was our cabin number?”

“I told you to write it down.”

“Are you sure this is our deck?”

“I’m not feeling well.”

Talking about keys in the slot, when I entered my cabin

I couldn’t get my lights on. I pushed button after button. Frustrated, I pushed a button with a little green light on it really hard. It went into the wall. The green light went out, but no other light turned on. Wait, what’s this slot? Ahh, slide your key into it and lights on! Whee ha. Take your key when you leave and lights off. Brilliant energy saver. (Just thinking, is brilliant the right word, I mean the lights go out. Perhaps clever?)

I’m eating with the press group in the Northern Lights restaurant. Unlike most Carnival ships, although bright and flashy,  the slightly weird and Joe Farcus are gone.

Tomorrow we go on the Magic deck.



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One Comment

  • Geof, have you run the ‘photographer gauntlet’ yet? Last year on the Triumph out of New Orleans it was impossible to get from one end of the ship to the other with changing decks several times to avoid these road blocks!


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