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Carnival Splendor cruise wasn’t magic, even for the magicians

November 10, 2010 |  4:43 pm

At least 100 of the passengers who boarded the Carnival Splendor for the Mexican Riviera believed they were embarking on a magical cruise experience -- literally.

The passengers were part of David Sandy's Magic Cruise, an annual magic-themed cruise, complete with magic-themed events, shows, lectures and workshops. Instead, they've been stranded on a crippled cruise ship that no amount of magic could help.

Passengers on the luxury liner were left without air conditioning, hot food and telephone service when an engine fire Monday incapacitated the vessel as it began a seven-day cruise to the Mexican Riviera.

The ship was being towed by tugboats to San Diego and is expected to reach land Thursday.

While out to sea, participants in David Sandy's Magic Cruise are able to watch performances from professional magicians and learn new magic tricks from master magician Dave Sandy, said Mark Comfort, owner of Cruise Holidays in Kansas City, Mo., which organized the cruise.

"They're all just excellent magicians wanting to hone their trade," Comfort said. "They just do it on a cruise."

In a show of solidarity, Las Vegas magician Nathan Burton turned to Twitter to reach out to his stranded colleagues: "Thinking of my fellow magicians stranded on the 'magic cruise' on the Carnival ship off the coast of Mexico. Good luck!"

-- Stephen Ceasar