(February 26, 2024) -- Carnival's newest Fun Ship, Carnival Jubilee, was dubbed “bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S," by none other than Godmother Gwen Stefani, at a rousing christening ceremony for the ship held on February 26 in Galveston.
Carnival Cruise Line welcomed its newest-in-fleet ship, which held its inaugural cruise in December 2023, with a number of special guests, including Carnival Corporation CEO, Josh Weinstein; Carnival Cruise Line President, Christine Duffy; and Galveston Mayor, Craig Brown.
But Stefani -- a three-time Grammy award winner, The Voice judge and now cruise ship godmother -- was clearly the star of the event.
Held in the Jubilee Theater, spanning decks 6 & 7, guests were treated to a festive rope trick and whip cracker show performed by world champion (and YouTuber) Will Fitzpatrick. Brown declared February 24 as “Carnival Jubilee Day.”and also presented Duffy with a large, Texas-sized key to the city. (See photos of Carnival Jubilee).
The cruise line was also full of surprises throughout the evening – from the announcement of a 4th Excel Class ship, to the pledge of raising $50 million by 2030 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. TO kick it off, Duffy presented a $50,000 check to the foundation on behalf of the ship’s godmother, Gwen Stefani. While Stefani is known as a music and fashion icon, she does philanthropic work, supporting children’s causes.
Stefani christened the ship -- a ceremony meant to bring luck and protection to those onboard – with her signature flair. With the help of Fitzpatrick, who lassoed a rope around the Carnival Jubilee lever, Stefani gave it a pull and sent a flying bottle of champagne crashing into the ship with a celebratory splash.
While this concluded the christening ceremony, the event was far from over. Stefani went on to perform a five-song private concert for guests, including hits from her band No Doubt like "Just a Girl" and solo smashes like “The Sweet Escape,"
At the end came “Hollaback Girl” featuring lyrical twists like “This my ship, this my ship,” and “This ship is bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S." The crowd loved it.
(February 13, 2024) -- Carnival Cruise Line announced today that a fourth Excel-class ship is underway, with an expected delivery in spring of 2027.
The cruise company signed an agreement with German shipbuilder Meyer Werft to build the as of yet unnamed ship, which is Carnival's first newbuild order in five years.
The new 180,000-gross-ton ship will have capacity for more than 6,400 passengers and will be powered with liquefied natural gas (LNG). The vessel will join sister ships Carnival Mardi Gras, Carnival Celebration and Carnival Jubilee in Carnival's Excel class.
“Our Excel class ships have been a tremendous addition to the Carnival fleet and proven very popular with our guests,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “This new ship enables us to continue the growth of our incredible fleet as we welcome our loyal guests back to cruise more frequently and attract new-to-cruise guests to experience all that a Carnival cruise has to offer.”
The cruise line welcomed Carnival Jubilee in December 2023 and has recently incorporated Carnival Firenze -- formerly Costa Firenze -- to its lineup, growing the current fleet to 27 ships.
“Building on our strong performance and growing momentum around the world, we are excited to resume our newbuild program and further enhance our global fleet with yet another state-of-the-art ship,” said Josh Weinstein, CEO of Carnival Corporation.
The executive added that, beginning in 2027, Carnival Corporation will welcome one to two ships per year in order to "satisfy outsized demand."
-- Jorge Oliver, Editor
The ship's most noticeable update is its new livery, which now features Carnival's signature red, white and blue colors on the hull. Prior to the refurbishment, Carnival Vista had an all-white hull with blue and red accents.
The Vista-class flagship has emerged from drydock with new venues, including Heroes Tribute Bar & Lounge, a space that honors military veterans and active-duty service members. Carnival Vista also boasts a new O2 Club for teens as well as a new Effy Jewelry store and a new Cherry on Top shop.
Other areas of the ship have also received a facelift. The Casino, for instance, has been expanded with a new layout and a separate non-smoking annex. Elsewhere, Lido Marketplace now sports a new look.
Upon returning to Port Canaveral, Carnival Vista will embark on round-trip, six- to eight-night itineraries, visiting destinations like Halfmoon Cay, Grand Turk, Aruba, San Juan, St. Maarten and St. Thomas.
-- Jorge Oliver, Editor
The cruise line announced today that the honor of christening the 5374-passenger ship will fall on music superstar Gwen Stefani. The songwriter, performer and vocalist has achieved global success, selling more than 60 million records as frontwoman of the band No Doubt as well as a solo artist. Her list of accolades include three Grammy Awards, four MTV Video Music Awards, two Billboard Awards, an American Music Award and a Brit Award.
Stefani is also known as one of the celebrity coaches on the Emmy-Award winning show The Voice. Aside from music, the artist has been recognized as a fashion icon as well as for her philanthropic work, including her support of children’s cause.
“We are absolutely thrilled to be welcoming Gwen Stefani onto Carnival Jubilee so we can honor her as the ship’s godmother,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “She has demonstrated her commitment to our Carnival values, including promoting diversity and inclusion, supporting charitable causes, being a leader in her field, and of course, having fun."
“I am honored to be the godmother of the new Carnival Jubilee,” said Stefani. “Carnival is taking it to the next level of fun while being committed to children’s causes and supporting our military families and veterans.”
Stefani joins other high profile celebrity godparents in Carnival Cruise Line's family, including Jay Leno (Carnival Firenze), Queen Latifah (Carnival Horizon), Judy Dench (Carnival Legend), Kathy Ireland (Carnival Freedom), Mira Sorvino (Carnival Liberty) and Kathy Lee Gifford and her daughter Cassidy Gifford (for the original and new version of Carnival Celebration, respectively).
--Jorge Oliver, Editor
Acquired from sister cruise line Costa Cruises, Carnival Firenze becomes the 27th ship in Carnival's fleet.
Formerly Costa Firenze, the 4,072-passenger vessel follows sister ship Carnival Venezia as part of Carnival's new 'Fun Italian Style' lineup. A third ship -- Carnival Luminosa, previously known as Costa Luminosa -- also joined Carnival's fleet from Costa Cruises.
Carnival Firenze is set to undergo a 2-month refurbishment project to bring it up to speed with the cruise line’s style, ahead of its inaugural sailing on April 25.
“The beauty of Florence, Italy is about to meet the FUN of Carnival Cruise Line! We are elated to welcome Carnival Firenze to the Carnival fleet, joining her sister Carnival Venezia to showcase ‘Carnival Fun Italian Style,’” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.
Carnival Firenze will be homeported in Long Beach, from where it will embark on three- and four-day sailings to Mexico and Catalina Island, and five-, six- and seven-day cruises to the Mexican Rivera, calling in Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta.
In a nod to the Italian city that inspired its name, Carnival Firenze's atrium is modeled after Piazza del Duomo, Florence's famous public square. The ship will also feature Italian-flavored venues currently present on Carnival Venezia, such as restaurants La Strada Grill, Tomodoro and Il Viaggio, as well as bars like Amari and Frizzante.
Elsewhere, the ship's Lido deck draws inspiration from the Italian Riviera and will be the setting of the Festa Italiana deck party. Other Italian-themed activities include the Captain's Venetian Toast and Italian-inspired youth programming for teens and children.
Carnival Firenze will also feature familiar Carnival venues like Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse, Java Blue Café, Serenity Adult-Only Retreat and Carnival WaterWorks.
--Jorge Oliver, Editor