(12:28 p.m. EDT) -- Just a few weeks before its May 1 naming ceremony in Venice and the Mediterranean maiden voyage that follows, Carnival Magic is swarming with workers putting the finishing touches on the 130,000-ton, 3,690-passenger ship.
When we visited the Fincantieri shipyard near Trieste, Italy, last week, we found 1,500 technicians onboard, along with an additional 500 crew. All were working around the clock polishing, drilling, varnishing, painting, building sets in the Showtime Theater, rehearsing the new shows and testing every possible system.
Our early appraisal: The ship will be an impressive addition to the Carnival fleet, a light, bright, contemporary and fun vessel with several impressive new features, including:
Cucina del Capitano, a family-style Italian restaurant.
The RedFrog Pub, with late-night hours and a Caribbean vibe.
SportSquare, a sprawling activities deck with outdoor exercise machines.
A ropes course hanging 150 feet above the sea.
For a sneak look at these and several other intriguing additions, check out the slideshow above. And be sure to visit Cruise Critic for our coverage of the gala christening weekend and the ship's inaugural voyage.
--by Sue Bryant, Cruise Critic Contributing Editor
--All photos except for Red Frog Pub logo shot appear courtesy of Sue Bryant. Red Frog Pub logo photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise Lines.
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