Magic Master

March 11, 2011 -

John Heald

It gives me great pleasure to formally introduce you to the Captain of your Carnival Magic, Captain Giovanni Cutugno. I asked him some questions about his role as Master of our flag ship and I think you will find his answers fascinating.

Here then is ……………Captain Giovanni Cutugno.

Captain, very soon you will be the master of our flag ship. What a wonderful journey you must have been on to get this far…so, I wonder if you can tell us about your life at sea.

When I started working for Carnival Cruise Lines, it felt like I was in a magical world. Now, after all these years and being on the Carnival Magic, I feel even greater and magically attracted by a new building. For me, this will be the fourth time as Captain to command a new vessel. But every time, I feel like it is the first time and I love to do it because you always learn something new.

You and I have been friends for a long time and together we have seen many changes. Can you tell us what it was like to be a young deck officer and some of the duties and experiences you remember? And what new features will you have on your bridge on your Carnival Magic.

November 15th,1978, this is when I started to work for Carnival and the Festivale was on her second voyage; my rank was third mate and my experience was in cargo and tanker vessels. Therefore, it felt like a big wall to be climbing without any idea how to do it. In the beginning, honestly I found it quite difficult and complicated, however, because I was coming from a family of fishermen/seamen tradition, which means it was in my blood, I started this new experience with great enthusiasm. I always love my job and take it very seriously and professionally.

Going from the navigation bridge of the Mardi Gras/Carnivale/Festivale… this is really something magical. I had the opportunity to also work for a short time on the Carnival Dream which you think will be the same. Actually, it is not because the Magic presents various different nautical features and by only looking at how much bigger the lifeboats are, you realize it is completely different. On the navigation bridge we have some new technology and various layouts which all make something really magical.

Once again, congratulations on being chosen to be the master of your Carnival Magic. …so, a simple question…how do you feel?

Magically Great!!!…. Magically Proud!!!

From what you have seen about the ship, what are you most excited about?

The Carnival Magic is a great vessel and shows so many new features, from different and various restaurants to the brand new pub. The open decks have so many new features which you cannot believe until you see it with your own eyes.

Can you tell us what a captain’s involvement is during the ship’s construction?

This is quite complicated to answer with a few words; I could write a book about it. However, every day there is something where you not only have to get involved in it but also give your input to make sure that all will work as it is supposed to.

Now the ship will start her sea trials. Can you explain what this involves and what your involvement will be?

We just completed the first sea trial and the vessel now is in dry dock in Trieste. It is amazing and there are moments where you feel like you are not touching the ground anymore (if you understand what I mean???). I had the opportunity for the very first time to take the vessel and I already feel like, yes, this is my baby. During the sea trial, various tests are performed and some of them are extreme– tests that you will not see again because you cannot perform them once the ship is in service.

You will be sailing the ship into your home port of Messina. That must make you feel very proud.

To bring once again this beautiful and magical vessel to my own town is really a big honor and I am looking forward to the other ports as well because every other port of our future itinerary has a lot to be seen– from the history to the art, from the beauty to the attractions– it will be just unique. Yes, this is Magic!!!

One of the new features on your Carnival Magic will be the new Cucina del Capitano. Now if you were designing some recipes what would you feature? Tell us about your favorite foods.

From the aperitive to the antipasto, it will be exquisite and get ready for the main course. But if you think that’s it, don’t underestimate how delicious and important the dessert is!

You may ask me for some recipes? Yes, then my mind quickly goes to: antipasto…there are so many to choose from (from the sea to the mountains), spaghetti allo scoglio or risotto alla marinara (seafood), meat rolls with bread crumbs, swordfish rolls with bread crumbs, tiramisu. ( This can be just the beginning– ready for a new recipe every day on request???)

Now please choose people to share your Captain’s Table with..

Someone from the cruise industry

Micky Arison and his beautiful wife Madeleine

Someone to make you laugh

John Heald

Your favorite actress

Angelina Jolie

Your favorite actor and musical guest

Al Pacino and Jennifer Lopez


Thank you Captain and I will see you soon as I hope will many of the people reading your interview.

Before I go, here are the FunTimes for your Carnival Valor and your Carnival Glory.


Here is also the Assistant Cruise Director schedule:

Fantasy: Craig Johnson just got back from vacation on until 9/26
Ecstasy: Gary Linton until 6/2 then Laura Pipes until 11/28
Sensation: Shawn Hale until 3/17 then Gayve Kazak until 9/8
Fascination: Adam Cones until 8/6
Imagination: Marc Tavares just about to sign on
Inspiration: Nick Gardner until 8/8
Destiny: Brandon Kovshoff just signing on
Elation: David Tancock
Paradise: Amy Barton until 6/6
Triumph: Cory Rodgers until 9/5
Victory: Matt Mitcham until 8/7 then Lesley Gray
Spirit: Sam Trembely until 6/21 then Marcelo Alvarado
Pride: Jaime Deitsch until 4/10 then Peter Liebenberg
Legend: Louise Wilson until 6/5
Conquest: James Dune until 4/10 then Hennie
Glory: Sam Pile until 8/27
Miracle: Lesley Gray until 4/28 the Shawn Hale
Valor: Hennie until 3/20 then Jamie Pihan
Liberty: Kevin Darby
Freedom: Dan Govier until 8/21
Dream: Marcelo Alvarado


Your friend,


Hi, I’m John, and this is my blog. So please don’t mistake my opinions — or those of my dear friends, fans or commenters — for those of Carnival Cruise Line or Carnival Corporation. My apologies in advance for anything I may say that upsets you, but this disclaimer covers Carnival and puts the blame directly on me………….. bugger.