Overheard: Heading ashore in Cozumel from my Celebrity Apex cruise ship, I heard a passenger from the Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas docked nearby ask a question of our security guard. “What is that strange device on the side of your ship?”
I listened for the answer, although I already knew what it was. “It’s called The Magic Carpet,” the security guard answered. “It can move up and down to be used for different things.”
Positioned on the side of the ship, the brightly colored structure about the size of a tennis court is one of the world’s first cantilevered floating platforms. The apparatus moves up and down the exterior of the ship to reach heights of 13 stories above sea level.
When it’s up on deck 5, the Magic Carpet is a restaurant offering unforgettable al fresco dining as the ship glides over the glistening water below. When it is on deck 14, it serves as a late-night bar.
When it’s down close to sea level on deck 2, that’s when the structure shows its real magical function. Instead of the usual unpleasant task that passengers must endure on some cruise ships to board a small tender boat to go ashore when the ship must anchor off shore, the Magic Carpet makes getting on and getting off a tender boat a fun and comfortable experience.
Worldwide celebrated architect and longtime sailing aficionado, Tom Wright of WKK, created the all-new-at-sea traveling terrace. For those who thought the Magic Carpet may be a fancy elevator that passengers ride up and down – no way.
Passengers will never be on the Magic Carpet when it moves. Nor will the ship move when the Magic Carpet is down functioning as a boarding area for the ship’s tenders.
The Magic Carpet is not constructed to be seaworthy when the ship is moving. But it certainly is eye-catching and question-causing no matter where it’s seen.
Photos by Jackie Sheckler Finch
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