(1:55 p.m. EDT) -- Carnival Cruise Line recently announced it has appointed comedian and TV personality Jay Leno as godfather to the line's newly acquired Carnival Venezia.
The announcement comes just prior to Carnival Venezia's arrival to the U.S., where it will operate cruises from New York. The former Costa Venezia is sailing for the famous Fun Ship line as part of Carnival's new "Costa by Carnival" venture.
“Carnival Venezia originally entered service for our Italian sister brand Costa Cruises and was christened in 2019, so she already has a godmother," Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy said. "With Carnival Venezia joining the fleet and sailing from New York, we wanted to ensure a proper welcome for the ship and decided having a godfather would be both fun and appropriate.
"We thought of someone who would make a FUN godfather with Italian heritage, we knew Jay Leno would be the perfect godfather! And he’s already a member of the Carnival family – he entertained guests a few years ago as part of our Carnival LIVE entertainment series.”
While cruise lines typically name a godmother for their ships, in keeping with a long-standing maritime tradition, Carnival has bucked the trend by appointing its first male godfather. It isn't the first line to do so, however: Norwegian Cruise Line made history in 2015 when it appointed the first godfather in the industry -- Miami-based rapper Pitbull -- for its Norwegian Escape.
Carnival also announced Leno will perform a special show for guests at Carnival Venezia's christening in New York on June 14, 2023.
“I am truly honored to be named the godfather of Carnival Venezia," Leno said. "It was an offer I couldn’t refuse. Carnival’s focus on FUN combined with the Italian theming of this ship is something that is truly unique. I’m also excited to have my very own cruise ship, although I think I’ll need a bigger garage!”
Cruise Critic recently sailed aboard Carnival Venezia on the first leg of its inaugural transatlantic crossing and saw firsthand how the marriage between Costa's Italian influence and heritage will translate Stateside to Carnival's legendary Fun Ships.
Carnival Venezia offer sailings from New York to the Caribbean, Bahamas, Bermuda and Canada and New England through late 2024, when it repositions to Port Canaveral, Florida.