Local and state officials welcomed Carnival Cruise Lines' newest ship, the 3,690-passenger Carnival Magic, to its new year-round homeport of Galveston on Sunday. Listen: MP3 RealPlayer
“As you can imagine, we’re pretty excited,” said Carnival President Gerry Cahill. “This is a great market for us. We love Texas. Texas is an absolutely fantastic market for us.”
Cahill also complemented the people of Galveston, especially the staff at the Port of Galveston.
“You are very, very good to work with,” he said. “You have been very, very cooperative in getting everything done we needed.”
“In looking back and seeing this ship here today I’m looking back and thinking it’s 11 years ago we started with the first ‘fun ship’ experience from Galveston and it’s quite amazing how it’s gone in the last 11 years,” said Port of Galveston Director Steve Cernak. “But a lot of this growth wouldn’t have occurred if it wasn’t for the public private partnership that was formed with Carnival Corporation plc and the Port of Galveston.”
Roland Bassett, chair of the Board of Trustees of the Galveston Wharves, and his wife Adrianne, had arrived with the Magic after a 16 day cruise from Spain.
“It was a wonderful experience,” Bassett said. “I want to promote the Carnival, I want to promote the trans-Atlantic cruise, I want to promote the seven-day cruises. This is the place for cruises.”
Jeffrey Boyd, chief of staff for Texas Governor Rick Perry, brought greetings from Austin.
“If Governor Perry is anything, he is proud of Texas and is committed to economic development in Texas – Galveston, Texas,” Boyd said. “The fact that Carnival would choose Texas over a lot of other choices to bring its newest, biggest ship makes him very proud.”
Boyd presented Captain Giovanni Cutugno with a Texas Flag that flew over the Texas Capitol and announced that the governor has made him an honorary Texan and an Admiral in the Texas Navy.
Anders G. Frick, president of FMT Aircraft Gate Support Systems Canada, Inc. was recognized for the new gangway that was put into place for Magic’s arrival.
More than 3,000 travel agents and travel writers from across the country were in Galveston for the event. Many were treated by Carnival to an overnight stay aboard the Magic.
Galveston Mayor Joe Jaworski also participated in the welcoming ceremony aboard the ship.