WHY IT RATES: The new ship is set to change the way the cruise industry operates.—Donald Wood, Breaking News Senior Writer.
Carnival Cruise Line’s new flagship Carnival Celebration arrived at its PortMiami homeport and was christened by actress Cassidy Gifford Sunday evening. The festivities were befitting of the ship’s name and underscored Carnival’s year-long celebration of 50 years of fun.
An innovative Excel-class sister to the groundbreaking Mardi Gras, Carnival Celebration is launching year-round service from its hometown of Miami.
“This naming ceremony of our new flagship Carnival Celebration is the perfect culmination of our 50th birthday as this spectacular ship honors our past and signifies the fun and growth ahead,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “Carnival Celebration builds on the success of our incredible Mardi Gras and the many innovations we introduced with our Excel-class, including a top-deck roller coaster, and offers unique features all her own that give guests a truly incredible new cruise experience to have fun and make memories.”
Duffy spoke before an audience gathered for the ceremony in the ship’s three-deck-high atrium, Celebration Central. Carnival Celebration Godmother Cassidy Gifford christened the ship, with a traditional breaking of a champagne bottle, alongside Capt. Vincenzo Alcaras. Gifford was also joined by her mother, Kathie Lee Gifford, who served as godmother of Carnival Celebration’s namesake, M/S Celebration, which was similarly christened in 1987.
Along with an impromptu performance by Kathie Lee, who sang the memorable tune to the now-legendary commercials that helped to popularize the Carnival brand in the 1980s, attendees were also treated to a preview of Carnival Celebration’s spectacular entertainment programming, including an aerialist performance. A concert by Kool & The Gang capped off the night, which included their dance classic, “Celebrate!” In addition, the event was broadcast online so Carnival fans could share in the festivities from anywhere.
Carnival Celebration’s first guests to board the ship from Miami will depart today on a special six-day Thanksgiving cruise, with visits to Grand Turk, Amber Cove and Nassau. On Nov. 27, the ship will begin a rotation of week-long Eastern and Western Caribbean sailings that depart every Sunday and visit popular destinations, such as the Dominican Republic and St. Thomas, as well as Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico. To see sailings offered on Carnival Celebration, visit Carnival.com.
Carnival Celebration accommodates more than 5,200 guests and features more than 20 dining venues, and a dozen bars and lounges across six unique zones. The ship’s Miami-themed zone, 820 Biscayne, is named after Carnival’s first headquarters address and is designed as a tribute to Miami’s cultural vibe and its dining and beverage offerings.
The ship’s top deck features the award-winning all-electric roller coaster BOLT: Ultimate Sea Coaster, which has been thrilling guests on Mardi Gras since its debut in 2021. The top deck is also home to the resort-style Loft 19, which can be accessed directly from premium category Excel suites – one of 11 styles featured across 180 total suites on board. The ship boasts more than 2,600 staterooms in all.
Carnival Celebration is also the second ship in the Carnival fleet, and the first to homeport in Miami, with a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) propulsion system, which is part of Carnival Corporation’s pioneering green cruising platform.
SOURCE: Carnival Cruise Line press release.
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