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Letters Annex

Magic on Board

September 27, 1998

As a professional magician who performs about 12 weeks a year on different ships on various cruise lines, I must take exception to Shirley Slater and Harry Basch's observation ("Cruise Views: Through Rain, Shine or Midnight Buffet, the Show Must Go On," Aug. 23) that "now, with a few exceptions, only vintage ships selling budget cruises continue to rely on variety formats with dance teams, jugglers, ventriloquists and magicians." Indeed, I would hardly classify Holland America, Princess, Cunard, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line and Seabourn, among others on which variety performers regularly appear, as budget cruise lines.

Although it's true that the newer ships have showrooms that can accommodate grand productions, these extravaganzas are in addition to, rather than instead of, shows that feature specialty acts. Indeed, on many of the larger ships, such as the Sun Princess, there are two showrooms--one with theater seating for production shows and celebrity headliners, the other with a nightclub decor for shows of cabaret-size acts.

TOM OGDEN

Los Angeles

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