The Carnival Magic cruise ship took an unexpected shore stop Wednesday and Thursday to make emergency repairs to the new ship.
“We are experiencing a technical problem with one of our stern thrusters, side propellers on the aft that help the ship move sideways,” said Magic Captain Giovanni Cutugno.
“Don’t worry,” he said. “This does not compromise the ship’s safely in any way as all other systems and hotel services are functioning normally.”
In order to have sufficient time to complete the necessary repairs, the ship’s scheduled visit to Costa Maya and one day at sea were replaced with an overnight call in Progreso, Mexico.
The 3,690-passenger Carnival Magic arrived Sunday at its new homeport of Galveston, Texas. It left Monday for its inaugural U.S. cruise to the Caribbean.
Although she was looking forward to visiting Costa Maya, Mary Ellen Thomas of Houston said she was pleased to see what Progreso has to offer. “We’re just out cruising, having fun and you can’t get upset over something unexpected,” Thomas said. “We’re going into town to see what is there.”
Free shuttles took passengers on the 15-minute bus ride from the terminal to Prospero. A laid back seaside retreat with a population of about 50,000, Prospero is known for its white-sand beaches, emerald green waters and cooling gulf breezes. Located on the peninsula’s northwest coast in the Mexican state of Yucatan, Progreso was officially founded in 1871.
Prospero visitors could lounge on the beach, enjoy shore side massages, haggle over prices with street vendors, get a temporary tattoo, rent a motorbike or a jet ski, take an open-air double decker bus tour, sip cold drinks under palm trees and take a choice of many tours.
Located where the Gulf of Mexico meets the Caribbean Sea, Progreso often serves as an access point from which to visit to the rich Mayan historical sites found in this part of the world, particularly the renowned Chichen-Itza ruins, once home to the great Mayan empire. Chichen-Itza is considered one of the most important archaeological sites on the American continent. There are 2,040 sites in Yucatan, of which only a tiny fraction have been excavated and restored.
Passengers also could take tours to nearly Merida with its old world Spanish feel. About a half-hour ride away, Merida offers even more shopping.
Top tours at the Progreso stop include dune buggies, golf, biking, snorkeling, kayaking and much more. The Carnival Magic’s sister ship, the Carnival Elation, spend Wednesday docked next to the Magic as part of the Elation’s regular shore stops.
Returning to the Magic, Tom Ferguson wore a huge sombrero and a big grin. “Take me to any beach and I’m happy,” the Texan said. “The weather is great, the drinks are cold, I don’t have to work. I’m a very happy fella.”
For more information: Contact Carnival Cruise Lines at www.carnival.com.