The three-time Grammy award-winning band performed a free, invite-only outdoor concert to welcome the line's newest ship to its year-round homeport in Galveston.
Carnival Magic's dawn arrival from the Mediterranean, where it spent its first seven months, and Carnival's decision to mark the occasion with a concert by a band that's sold more than 15 million albums, had Galveston buzzing. Fans, who won free tickets through various channels, including local radio stations and a contest on Carnival's Facebook page, waited in the warm sun for as long as two hours for gates to open.
Carnival's Senior Cruise Director John Heald introduced both the ship and the band, saying that Galveston fit the bill as a place where Magic would get the "warmest welcome."
"We knew the only place to put it was in the great state of Texas," Heald said, before urging the crowd to give the band a welcome that would make them remember Galveston as one of their best concert venues.
Right before the band started, "Justin from Tennessee," the winner of Carnival's Facebook contest that asked fans to submit a video of their best dance moves, did a wild dance routine that had the audience roaring.
And at 4 p.m., the five-member group hit the stage to shrieks and screams, opening with its latest hit, "Moves Like Jagger." The band's frontman, Adam Levine, who is also a coach on the TV series "The Voice," threw guitar picks to the crowd and made fun of boaters who pulled up near the pier to hear the concert. "Hey, where's your ticket?" he yelled, laughingly calling them "freeloaders" before welcoming them to the happening.
Maroon 5 performed an 11-song set before coming back for a one-song encore. Many of the band's top hits were part of the set list, including "She Will Be Loved" and "Wake Up Call."
The stage was set up outdoors on Pier 21 to frame the massive 3,690-passenger Carnival Magic, Galveston's largest year-round ship. Magic will offer itineraries to both the Eastern and Western Caribbean.
--by Carol Sottili, Cruise Critic Contributor