Maroon 5 rocks Galveston as Carnival Cruise Lines celebrates the Magic

It was a Galveston tourist official’s dream-come-true Sunday afternoon.

With the gigantic Carnival Magic cruise ship in the background, Maroon 5 rocked a crowd of several thousand along Pier 21 to celebrate the new boat’s arrival in Texas on a picture-perfect day. The stage was so close to the water that pleasure boats with excited spectators hovered alongside to soak in the action.

Lead singer Adam Levine, his jeans looking as if they might droop dangerously close to R-rated territory, led the band thoughout the hour-long set, singing such hits as “Moves Like Jagger,” “This Love,” “Sunday Morning” and “She Will Be Loved,” as many in the audience waved their arms and shouted out the lyrics to every song.

Adam Levine, his jeans looking as if they might droop dangerously close to R-rated territory, led the band thoughout the hour-long set, as many in the audience waved their arms and shouted out the lyrics to every song.

Carnival Cruise Lines brought in the popular pop group to herald the new ship, which embarked on its first cruise from Galveston Monday. “Here at Carnival, we’re all about F-U-N,” said senior cruise director John Heald.

At a cocktail reception for travel agents and selected members of the Houston media on board the ship Sunday night, Carnival Cruise Line president and CEO Gerry Cahill enthusiastically endorsed Galveston as the site for two of its large cruise ships.

The Carnival Magic was launched in May in Venice, Italy and offered tours of the Mediterrean over the summer from Barcelona before a 16-day Transatlantic cruise ended in Galveston Sunday. The ship will be based in the Texas island city, with seven-day cruises to such destinations as Montego Bay, Cozumel and Grand Cayman throughout the year.

In addition to the 3,690-passenger Magic, the company also operates the 2,758-passenger Carnival Triumph, featuring four- and five-day cruises to Cozumel out of Galveston. Prices on the Magic range from $549 to just over $2,000 per person, depending on cabin and time of year. The Triumph ranges from $309 to $1,249.

Extending the length of three football fields, the Magic looks like a Las Vegas hotel on the inside with a 10-story atrium and glass-and-gold chrome elevators. Features include a massive water park for youngsters and an adults-only “Serenity” lounge on the top deck, along with a two-floor spa, fitness center, casino and several lounges featuring nightly entertainment.

Among the many food-and-drink options are a Caribbean-inspired pub, a steakhouse, an Italian restauarant with singing waiters, and food stations offering Italian, Indian, sushi, and Mongolian wok cuisine.

-Culture Map

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Mike Faust

Mike Faust is an avid world traveler, often found traversing city streets in Asia and Europe rather than his home city of Boca Raton. Mike has touched down in 39 countries, set sail on 35 cruises, and flown over 400,000 lifetime miles.