When Carnival Firenze joins the Carnival Cruise Line fleet in spring 2024, it will become the line's third ship to operate under the banner "Carnival Fun Italian Style". Constructed in 2021 as Costa Firenze, the Vista-class ship was originally set to cater for the Chinese market and sail for sister brand Costa Cruises. The renamed 4,072-passenger vessel has now been transferred to Carnival and will sail year-round from Long Beach. The first Italian-style ship, Carnival Venezia, joins the Carnival fleet in June 2023.
In keeping with its name -- Firenze means Florence in Italian -- and the Costa Cruises brand for which it was initially built, the country's signature style is reflected in opulent public areas.
The central hub on Carnival Firenze is the grand three-deck atrium, Piazza della Signoria, which is modeled on main square in Florence. It has marble columns topped with Italian sculptures and a Renaissance-style decor. Outdoor spaces include the adults-only Giardino Delle Rose, a Florentine-style rose garden with loungers and parasols. The chic Fashion Bar overlooks the ocean and is prime spot for sunset cocktails.
In total there are 13 restaurants and seven bars and lounges, with a strong emphasis on Italian cuisine. While some of the Chinese eateries may be replaced, there are not expected to be any changes to the main dining rooms Palazzo Vecchio and Ristorante dei Medici or the Restaurant Versilia buffet. Other eateries are expected to include the Fiorentina Steak House, Pizza Napoli and Dolce Vita ice-cream parlor. Carnival fans will also find signature restaurants such as Teppanyaki and the Seafood Shack. Bars include the Aperol Spritz Bar, serving the famous bittersweet Italian cocktail. Full details of all the dining options will be announced closer to the launch date.
Public areas include a theater, La Laguna Aqua Park with two slides and a splash zone, four pools including one with a retractable roof and the Rope Garden adventure park. The ship also has a kids' club and teen zone, al fresco fitness area, jogging track and spa.
Carnival Firenze has 2,136 cabins and suites across 11 decks which range in size from 153-square foot interiors to suites measuring up to 327 square feet.
Announcing the arrival of the vessel to the Carnival fleet Christine Duffy, President of Carnival Cruise Line, said: "We embark more guests from California than any other cruise line, and soon Carnival Firenze will provide a great new option for them. When the ship joins our fleet, she's going to bring our valued guests a new experience that complements our signature fun with the ship's spectacular Italian atmosphere."
Once destined to be deployed in China, Carnival Firenze was built at Italy's Fincantieri shipyard and designed with Asian passengers in mind. This included Chinese dining venues, a large casino and rooms for the popular board game mahjong along with several karaoke rooms. Although Carnival has yet to release full details about the vessel, the first Costa ship transferred to the fleet, Costa Venezia, was fine-tuned to cater to a predominantly North American market. It is likely Carnival Firenze will undergo similar tweaks, such as the addition of mini-bars and U.S. power outlets to cabins and facilities and eateries geared to an American audience.
Carnival has already hinted at this in a statement which said: "Carnival Fun Italian Style incorporates Carnival's signature high-energy environment, friendly team members and many familiar venues, plus several new, creative concepts -- from Italian-themed restaurants, bars and entertainment."
Carnival Firenze is slated to enter service in spring 2024. The exact date and details of the maiden voyage have not yet been announced.
Carnival has confirmed the ship will homeport in Long Beach and offer a variety of year-round sailings to destinations in Baja, California and the Mexican Riviera. Detailed itineraries will be revealed at a later date.
Carnival Firenze is 135,000 gross tons and carries 4,072 passengers at full capacity with 1,278 crew.