Our first shore visit: The USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park

MOBILE, Ala. — For more than three and a half years, Bob Feller called the narrow metal bunk his home. With scarcely enough room to move his lanky frame, Feller probably spent countless nights dreaming of his family and the Iowa farm where he was born. A record-breaking baseball pitcher for the Cleveland Indians, Feller also might have pondered what his future could have held if not for World War II. Two days after Japan attacked Pearl …

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All aboard Blount’s Grande Caribe, for a very different small ship experience

I’ve never met a boat I didn’t like. From huge ocean liners to historic paddle wheelers, if it floats on water, I’ll probably enjoy it. Each vessel seems to have its own charms and I always leave a voyage ready to take another one. So I was curious to try Blount Small Ship Adventures. Someone described it as sort of like having a friend who has a wonderful yacht and invites you on a cruise. A talented …

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New Carnival Magic dazzles with Water Wonders

Story and photos by Jackie Sheckler Finch It  doesn’t look all that scary. But when you are up there standing on a thin rope with the vast sky overhead and the deep sea beneath, it can be quite exhilarating. And a bit frightening, I must admit. A first for cruise ships, the ropes course aboard the new Carnival Magic offers outdoor adventure suspended above deck with spectacular views. Hooked to a safety harness, passengers can participate in …

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Carnival Cruise Director Welcomes Magic

By Jackie Sheckler Finch John Heald had never been on a cruise ship when he replied to a want ad seeking a bartender aboard the Carnival Destiny ocean liner. “Much to my parent’s horror, I got the job,” Heald recalls with a laugh. “I gave up my job in London and I’ve been on cruise ships ever since.” That was back in 1986. Since then, Heald has quickly risen through the ranks. In 1989 he was promoted …

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Carnival Magic Offers Cloud 9 Spa

By Jackie Sheckler Finch It is supposed to remove stress, get rid of body aches and pains, and wash away harmful toxins. The 100-minute spa therapy is said to provide as much body and mind rejuvenation as eight hours of sleep. I say: Bring it on! So, while the Carnival Magic sails the blue Caribbean, I find myself heading to the ship’s Cloud 9 Spa. With so many wonderful choices, I’m trying the Elemis Aroma Spa Seaweed …

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Carnival Magic Makes Unexpected Two-Day Shore Stop for Emergency Repairs

By Jackie Sheckler Finch 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.” …

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Carnival Cruise Line Creates Own Beer

By Jackie Sheckler Finch He used to live in the forest, soaking up the rain. Now he lives on the Carnival Magic, basking in the sun. That’s the Carnival story about the RedFrog. And they’re sticking to it. In fact, the little tree frog has made himself so at home on the cruise ship that he has his own private label draught beer, custom-brewed specially for Carnival – ThirstyFrog Red. The first pub ever on a Carnival …

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Maroon 5 Rocks Galveston to Welcome Carnival Magic

Story and Photos By Jackie Sheckler Finch GALVESTON, Texas – With the massive Magic cruise ship as a backdrop, the band Maroon 5 rocked Galveston on Sunday to welcome Carnival Cruise Line’s newest and biggest ship to its Texas home port. “We’re thrilled to celebrate the Carnival Magic’s arrival with a Texas-sized performance by Maroon 5, one of the country’s most popular bands,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival Cruise Line’s president and CEO. Thousands of fans moved like …

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Carnival’s Dream is a Fun Way to Cruise

CARIBBEAN SEA We could hear him screaming all the way down. When he reached the bottom of the water slide, the muscular guy with the shaved head and tattooed torso stood up with an embarrassed grin, took a sheepish half bow and walked off to the applause of onlookers. “It’s scarier than it looks,” the man – Butch from Miami – explained. “It’s dark in there and you’re bouncing all around and don’t know when you’re going …

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Jackie Sheckler Finch’s Bio

Jackie Sheckler Finch fell in love with cruising 35 years ago when she rode the magnificent Mississippi Queen riverboat in its inaugural 1976 voyage. A newspaper reporter, photographer and travel writer, Jackie has cruised on large and small vessels on numerous rivers and oceans. Now the editor of two Indiana magazines, Jackie has written a dozen guidebooks and an app, Indianapolis Insider, as well as being a freelance writer for many publications. A member of The Society …

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