Cruising into Enchantment: Unveiling 3 Essential Insights from My Magic-Themed Voyage

Cruising into Enchantment: Unveiling 3 Essential Insights from My Magic-Themed Voyage

Embarking on Princess Cruises' inaugural Magic Castle Conjurer’s Cruise, I found myself enchanted by unexpected wonders and spellbinding performances. The voyage, in partnership with the legendary Magic Castle in Los Angeles, unfolded along the captivating coasts of California and Mexico. Here are three remarkable facets that defined this magical escapade:

1. Beyond the Expected IllusionsDispelling notions of mere card tricks and wizardry, the magicians on board treated us to a diverse array of illusions. Danny Cole, in a captivating welcome show, seamlessly transitioned through multiple on-stage costume changes. Meanwhile, Stacey Suarez Cole joined in to assemble a vintage electric fan, only to witness the box it came in mysteriously closing itself. The performances extended to solo acts, like Suarez Cole bringing a motionless butterfly to life in a cloud of smoke. The curated lineup ensured a spectrum of magical styles, from comedy to pickpocketing (all in good fun, of course).

2. Variety in Magical ArtsErika Larsen, president of Magic Castle Enterprises, played a pivotal role in curating a lineup that embodied variety. With multiple shows a day, the magicians showcased their skills in distinct styles, ensuring a rich tapestry of magical arts for the audience. From classic illusions to modern marvels, the performances demonstrated the depth and breadth of magical expertise.

3. A Portal to Magic Castle's LegacyThe Magic Castle, nestled in a Hollywood mansion from the early 1900s, holds a mystique as a haven for magic enthusiasts. However, gaining entry is an artful challenge, requiring an invitation or accompanying a member. The cruise offered a unique opportunity for passengers to experience the essence of the Magic Castle, unraveling the secrets of a place synonymous with the magical arts.

As the sun set on the first night, with a surprise $50 bill conjured from thin air, I realized that this cruise was not just a journey through scenic waters but a magical odyssey. The Discovery Princess ship became a floating stage for a captivating spectacle, where the wonders of the sea blended seamlessly with the enchantment of magic.

The Magic Castle Conjurer’s Cruise, with its enchanting allure, has transcended the exclusive realm of the Magic Castle in Hollywood, opening its magical doors to a broader audience. For Ronak Patel, an investment manager near Dallas, the cruise fulfilled a decade-long dream of visiting the Magic Castle. His wife orchestrated this enchanting journey as a remarkable gift for his 40th birthday. Patel, a magic enthusiast since childhood, expressed that the trip exceeded his expectations, describing it as "more than I could ask for."

This expansion of the Magic Castle experience beyond its iconic walls is precisely what Princess Cruises aims to achieve. Denise Saviss, Princess’ vice president, Entertainment Experience, emphasized the excitement of bringing the essence of the Castle to guests who might not otherwise make the pilgrimage to Hollywood. The cruise becomes a gateway for those residing in Southern California or travelers who might never step foot into the Castle, offering a captivating introduction to its mystical wonders.

Princess Cruises is set to amplify this magical venture with the launch of the Sun Princess ship in February 2024. The ship will boast "Spellbound by Magic Castle," featuring a bar, music room, and a 30-seat theater for close-up magic. The current cruise unfolded in the Princess Theater, accommodating 950 guests, and smaller venues across the ship. As I attended various magic-themed events, I noticed familiar faces, forging connections with fellow attendees who shared a passion for magic.

Ronak Patel, a hobbyist magician himself, had the opportunity to engage with professional magicians on board, delving into conversations about their journeys into magic and the forces that keep them captivated by its spell. Grace Kim, a San Francisco-based producer and self-proclaimed "magic lover," joined the cruise just three days before departure upon discovering its magical component. Having visited the Magic Castle seven times prior, she found herself not just an observer but an active participant in the magic, being chosen multiple times for audience participation.

The allure of theme cruises extends beyond the enchantment of magic, fostering a sense of community among attendees who share a common passion. Whether it's the shared love for magic, Star Trek, or motorcycles, theme cruises become unique settings where like-minded travelers come together, creating a shared experience that goes beyond the ordinary voyage.

While the magic-themed events on the cruise were open to the entire ship, a significant portion was reserved exclusively for the approximately 100 guests who opted for the Conjurer’s Cruise package. Priced starting at $699 for an inside cabin, this package offered an array of exclusive experiences, including shows, lectures, and group dining, providing a more intimate magical immersion.

Princess Cruises ingeniously added the Conjurer’s Cruise to an existing high-capacity itinerary, introducing a curated magical experience within the larger voyage. Looking ahead, the cruise line contemplates expanding the magic to all passengers aboard the Sun Princess on November 9, 2024, enhancing the potential for a more widespread and immersive magical encounter. As one attendee, Grace Kim, aptly expressed, "I wanted even more magic."

The exclusive package, with its blend of magical shows, educational lectures, and shared dining experiences, created a sense of camaraderie among the Conjurer’s Cruise guests. This innovative approach not only provided a unique experience for those with a passion for magic but also hinted at the potential for future themed cruises to weave an even deeper tapestry of enchantment for all passengers.

It's worth noting that the insights shared in this story are based on access provided by Princess Cruises, with USA TODAY maintaining editorial control over reviews. As the Conjurer’s Cruise continues to weave its magic, the prospect of future enchanting journeys sparks anticipation among both avid magic enthusiasts and curious cruisers alike. Nathan Diller, the consumer travel reporter for USA TODAY, brings these magical escapades to life from his base in Nashville, and you can connect with him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

As the curtains draw on the magic-themed odyssey aboard Princess Cruises, the Conjurer’s Cruise stands as a testament to the enchanting possibilities that unfold on the high seas. While certain mystical events illuminated the entire ship, a select group of around 100 guests, enticed by the Conjurer’s Cruise package starting at $699, enjoyed an exclusive magical immersion with shows, lectures, and communal dining experiences.

Princess Cruises, with a stroke of innovation, seamlessly integrated the Conjurer’s Cruise into a pre-existing high-capacity itinerary, offering a carefully curated magical tapestry within the broader voyage. Looking ahead, the cruise line contemplates a more expansive enchantment, exploring the option of opening the magical experience to all passengers aboard the Sun Princess in 2024. The desire for an even deeper magical encounter, expressed by attendees like Grace Kim, echoes the appetite for more immersive thematic journeys.

This unique approach not only fostered a sense of camaraderie among Conjurer’s Cruise participants but also hinted at the potential for future themed cruises to weave an even more intricate spell of enchantment for a wider audience. The conjuring of magical shows, educational insights, and shared moments of dining created an atmosphere where the shared passion for magic became a catalyst for connections and shared experiences.

As this chapter of magical maritime escapades concludes, the Conjurer’s Cruise leaves a trail of wonder and anticipation. The prospect of future voyages, enriched by the allure of thematic enchantment, promises a continuation of the magical odyssey that captivates both seasoned magic enthusiasts and those just beginning to believe in the extraordinary. Nathan Diller, the storyteller of these magical exploits from Nashville, keeps the magic alive at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., as Princess Cruises and the enchantment of the Conjurer’s Cruise leave an indelible mark on the seas of themed voyages.


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