Okay, we’ve seen the Oasis and the Allure, now comes the next mega-ship: Carnival Magic

There are quite a few new ships coming on this year. Last year, RCL’s new Oasis of the Seas and NCL’s Norwegian Epic stole most of the headlines.

This year, expect the new Disney Dream and Carnival’s new Magic to dominate most of the cruise press early in the year.

The Dream has already arrived in Port Canaveral. It will be christened on Wednesday and then there will be a short inaugural cruise for the press. I will be sailing on that cruise and you can read all about that new ship here. It will make its first full sailing on Jan. 26.

Carnival introduces its newest — and biggest — ship, the Carnival Magic on May 1. Here are some of the highlights of the ship:

Outdoor fun and fitness in the innovative SportSquare will be featured.  The line’s most expansive outdoor area by far, SportSquare on Carnival Magic (www.carnivalmagic.com) is an active cruiser’s on-board paradise, featuring SkyCourse, the first ropes course at sea, and cruising’s first-ever outdoor fitness area.  Guests can also get in the swing of things with the line’s first-ever two-level nine-hole miniature golf course, which the company is encouraging fans to help name at www.carnivalmagic.com/contest.

Sure to be a talked about feature will be SkyCourse, the first-of-its-kind ropes course located on Spa & Sports Deck 12. The spectacular new attraction will offer fun and adventure for all, along with magnificent views of the sea nearly 150 feet below. On SkyCourse, thrill-seeking guests can strap into a safety harness and choose from a beginner or intermediate course, traversing across rope bridges, swinging steps and beams suspended above the top deck.  Approximately 20 guests at a time can zig and zag along the two 230-foot courses, while friends and family can join in the fun by cheering participants on from the deck.  Each of the 20 different elements on the ropes course is named after a notable bridge in the U.S.

Guests can get pumped up at Sky Fitness featuring a wide array of exercise equipment, stationary bicycles, elliptical and rowing machines, punching bags and more. For a run in the sun and fresh sea air, Sports Track offers an 800-foot-long jogging path that surrounds the entire area. When guests are ready to get their game on, they’ll find lighted multi-purpose space for basketball, volleyball and soccer, along with a six-station Vita exercise course and ping pong and foosball tables at Sports Court.

And for those who just want to relax and check out the sports action in the area or on TV, SportSquare also features a full bar with a large flat-screen display.

SportSquare, along with Carnival Magic’s many other unique innovations, are highlighted in an interactive micro site, www.carnivalmagic.com, which features a full-screen virtual tour, exclusive images and videos, construction footage and more.

The 3,690-passenger Carnival Magic is slated to debut in Europe with a series of seven- to 12-day Mediterranean cruises operating May 1 – Oct. 16, 2011.  Following a 16-day trans-Atlantic crossing, Carnival Magic will launch seven-day Caribbean service from Galveston, Texas, Nov. 14, 2011, becoming the port’s largest year-round cruise ship.

For additional information and reservations on the “Fun Ship” vacation experience, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit carnival.com.

About Cynthia Boal Janssens

Cynthia Boal Janssens is the editor and chief blogger for AllThingsCruise.com. She is a former national president of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW). She has sailed on over 40 cruises all over the world.

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